The Diocese of La Crosse in Wisconsin has finally removed Rev. James Altman as pastor of St. James the Less Parish after months of him spreading batshit crazy conspiracies and making the Catholic Church (somehow) look even worse than usual.
Altman made national headlines back in September after making a video claiming that True Catholics™ couldn’t be Democrats. He also referred to climate change as a “hoax.”
Things got worse in May after Altman held jam-packed Easter services during which he put communion wafers directly in the mouths of members. He also handed out church bulletins that denounced COVID vaccines as “an experimental use of a genetic altering substance that modifies your body — your temple of the Holy Spirit.” That page also used “guinea pig” to describe people who received their shots.
While there are always exceptions like this, the Catholic Church has been fairly responsible in its handling of COVID, at least in the sense that Pope Francis said no one should oppose COVID restrictions under the guise of “religious freedom.” He also encouraged everyone to get vaccinated.
Last month, the Diocese of La Crosse finally (and publicly) expressed frustration with Altman’s Trumpist tendencies and asked him to resign.
Altman announced the news during his sermon Sunday, which was recorded and posted to YouTube later in the day, stating that his lawyer is challenging Bishop William Callahan’s request.
“As the Bishop has stated to me: I am ineffective. So for the record dear family, Bishop Callahan has asked me to resign as pastor as of this past Friday, two days ago, because I am divisive and ineffective,” Altman said.
Audible “no” sounds from the crowd can be heard during the video.
“Divisive” was an understatement. “Ineffective” was too polite. He’s a liar and a threat to public health who has no business leading a Bible study, much less an entire church.
Altman challenged that decision, claiming it violated canon law. One online fundraiser on his behalf raised over $363,000. With other fundraisers, he’s apparently “received over $722,000 in support.” What that money will be used for is anyone’s guess; the fundraiser says Canon lawyers cost $250/hour but a case like this wouldn’t require some ridiculous number of hours. Either way, it was clear that a lot of Catholics seemed to care far more about protecting an anti-vax climate-denying leader than they ever cared about victims of child sexual abuse.
Altman insisted after that declaration that he’s not stepping down:
Altman expressed his resistance to the resignation request, stating, “Bring it on. Because you can’t silence the truth… They can temporarily kill it, like they did Friday, but the truth rises again and the truth has its day.”
Altman then stressed, “I’m still the pastor and I don’t have any intention to resign.”
Well, too damn bad. The Diocese brought it on and they’ve effectively fired him from his current job.
On Friday, the Diocese released this statement:
… The obligation of a Bishop is to ensure that all who serve the faithful are able to do so while unifying and building the Body of Christ. Bishop William Patrick Callahan, in accordance with the norms of canon law, has issued a Decree for the removal of Fr. James Altman as Pastor of St. James the Less Parish. The Decree is effective immediately. During this time Fr. Altman, must refrain from exercising the function of pastor.
The Diocese of La Crosse will be working over the next weeks to arrange for the ongoing pastoral care of the parishioners of St. James the Less Parish.
As you would expect, Altman, in true Trumpian idiotic fashion, says he’s being “canceled.”
“I am not surprised that the hierarchy boldly continues to try to cancel a voice of Truth,” Altman told LifeSiteNews. “As [the] bishop stated publicly, I speak the undeniable Truth. Unfortunately for the corrupt hierarchy, I will not be silenced by any arbitrary Decree, nor will I be cowed by any action against my priestly faculties. The Truth will not be silenced.”
Hey, if you want to call the Catholic hierarchy “corrupt,” I’m right there with you. But there is a hierarchy, and Altman isn’t at the top of it, and he can indeed lose his job. Keep in mind not being a pastor doesn’t mean he can’t still serve the Church — which you would think would be his bigger calling — but he’s clearly less interested in advancing a religious kingdom and more interested in using the pulpit to spread Republican propaganda.
It’s rare for the Church to push out a problematic priest, but they finally made the right decision. No priest has a right to remain in charge after deliberately trying to kill off his own flock.
Anyway, I would love to know where all that fundraising cash is going to go now. I’m guessing Altman isn’t going to donate it to worthy non-profit causes.
(Thanks to everyone for the link. Large portions of this article were posted earlier)