Credit to Mike Lewis, the editor of the Where Peter Is blog, for breaking the news last night that Father James Altman’s bishop has asked that he resign his position as pastor of St. James the Less Church in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Lewis transcribed Father Altman’s homily on Pentecost Sunday, in which the controversial outspoken priest tells his parishioners that Bishop William Callahan of La Crosse had asked him to step down this past Friday for being “divisive and ineffective.”
As this video of his homily shows, Father Altman was defiant.
Personally, I could live without those who say six million people “had it coming”. pic.twitter.com/mK8XoVNZgi
— Vagrant Catholic, Âû (@vagrantcatholic) May 24, 2021
The La Crosse Tribune – the local newspaper that Father Altman tauntingly referenced in his homily for raising his profile – reports today that the news of Bishop Callahan’s order “has prompted response from both supporters and opponents” of the controversial priest:
“Thank you Father Altman. Please do not abandon us. And if the time comes when they do fire you father, please get in touch with us here,” one YouTube comment read from a profile named “Conservative Lady of California.”
The Tribune also reports that Faithful America, an online Christian group, issued a statement today praising Bishop Callahan:
“None of Altman’s hateful words or dangerous actions speak for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and now Bishop Callahan has thankfully made it clear that Altman does not speak for the Catholic Church, either,” Rev. Nathan Empsall, director of Faithful America.
“We pray for all who have fallen victim to the lies and bullying of false prophets like James Altman, and we encourage all our siblings in Christ to receive a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can,” Empsall said.
Meanwhile, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas – the outspoken prelate who has also posted misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and last fall endorsed Father Altman’s “You Can’t be a Catholic and be Democrat” video – took to Twitter this morning to defend the Wisconsin priest from his own bishop:
Fr James Altman is in trouble for speaking the truth. I originally supported him when he spoke bold truth during the election. I continue to support him for speaking the truth in Jesus Christ. He inspires many to keep the faith during these dark days. Let us pray for him.
— Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) May 24, 2021
UPDATE: Father Altman will be appearing this afternoon on the traditionalist firebrand Taylor Marshall’s YouTube show to talk about his situation.