Father Altman expects to be removed as pastor this weekend. He is bracing for what’s next
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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin, June 24, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Father James Altman has revealed to LifeSiteNews that he must give a final answer to his diocese on Friday regarding his bishop’s request that he resign, and that he expects to be replaced by a new parish administrator on Monday.
Altman explained during a speaking engagement yesterday in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, that when he is removed as pastor, he can be booted off to the boondocks – or worse.
“Here's what happens when you resign,” explained the popular priest. “You suddenly lose your canon law protections as a pastor, at which time they can say well, I want to send you to Saint Luke's for a little indoctrination training. I want you to go be a chaplain at an old folks’ home way out in Timbuktu, where nobody will ever hear from you.”
He said that if another parish administrator is appointed, and he appeals the decision, unless Pope Francis “fast tracks” the appeal, Altman will have about a year as a “a pastor without a parish.”
Another option, said Altman, is that Bishop William P. Callahan could remove his faculties.
“But here's the thing, everybody's gonna know now, whereas before with all these other priests who have been persecuted, nobody really hears, nobody knows how to do anything. That day is over, bishops of the United States. Because now, we're coming back,” said Altman.
He expects the final announcement of his removal to come in late Friday or Monday, and speculated that the removal letter may accuse him of “disrespect” of his bishop, an accusation he said has already been made against him.
“You know full well that over 30 times, despite my disagreement with him, in homilies I have praised him and said he was superior to all the other bishops who closed their churches and denied people the sacraments. I had praised him in interview after interview.”
“Now there's this idea that somehow I disrespected him. Listen, disrespect is a two-way street,” he continued.
“The bishops disrespected every single one of you when they denied you access to the sacraments. That is disrespectful. If you want to talk about disrespect, bishops of the United States, bring it on. Right here, come sit in this chair. Tyler and I will have a heyday with you.”
On May 23, Callahan asked Altman to resign for being “divisive and ineffective,” months after being threatened with “canonical penalties” following his stirring denunciation of Catholics who vote Democrat.
If anything, Altman has intensified his straight talk since his viral video “You cannot be Catholic and a Democrat” sparked controversy. He has been particularly critical of the U.S. bishops for denying Catholics access to the sacraments during the COVID-19 crisis, declaring that they had shown an “abundance of cowardice.”
Other statements since show that Altman is not out to make friends, but to speak the truths of the Catholic faith clearly and unwaveringly, and to call out his brother clergymen when they fail to do the same.
In May, Altman denounced Bishop Robert Barron’s statement that Jesus is the “privileged way” to salvation as heresy, which Altman said therefore deserves excommunication until there is a recanting of the statement, repentance, and repair of its “damage.”
More recently, he came down on the bishops who voted to stop the passage of a document that would clearly affirm Church teaching that Holy Communion may only be given to those in a state of grace, thereby excluding, among others, pro-abortion politicians.
“Dear family, we do not have to be theologians to figure it out. We just have to use the brains of a second-grader. We can only conclude that those 60-plus bishops of this country have been educated into imbecility because they can't figure out what a second-grader knows: we do not commit sacrilege against the Body of Christ,” Altman said during a recent episode of Church Militant’s “The Vortex.”
Altman explained in May that his canon lawyer is asking for “clarification” and “justification” for the decision, as well as “a chance to review what was in my file that suggested I was so divisive and ineffective.”
“We know that the truth divides, exactly as Jesus said it did, and I am speaking the truth,” said Altman.
Contact information for respectful communication:
Catholic Diocese of LaCrosse
Bishop William Callahan
3710 East Avenue South
P.O. Box 4004
La Crosse, WI 54602-4004
+1 (608) 788-7700
Very Rev. William Dhein, Msgr. Michael J. Gorman, and Msgr. Joseph Diermeier, Vicars General
+1 (608) 791-2655
Rev. Woodrow Pace, Vicar for Clergy
+1 (608) 791-2652