Parishioners plan to hold a peaceful prayer rally Sunday for Fr. James Altman, whose viral video produced by Alpha News has garnered a rebuke from his bishop and attacks from far-left publications.
“Here’s a memo to clueless baptized Catholics out there: you cannot be Catholic and a Democrat. Period. Their party platform absolutely is against everything the Catholic Church teaches. Just quit pretending that you’re Catholic and vote Democrat. Repent of your support of that party and its platform or face the fires of hell,” Altman states in the video.
The video quickly went viral and prompted smears from the National Catholic Reporter, a far-left outlet that accused Altman of using “anti-immigrant remarks” and “homophobic slurs” in his homily.
After “being pressured by both sides for a comment,” Bishop William Patrick Callahan of the Diocese of La Crosse said he understands “the undeniable truth that motivates” Altman’s message, but plans to pursue “canonical penalties” if his “attempts at fraternal correction do not work.”
“I have begun this process, not in the bright light of the public arena, but as the Gospel dictates, in private,” Callahan said in a public statement that was picked up by dozens of local and national outlets.
Altman’s parishioners at St. James the Less have organized a peaceful prayer rally in support of Altman, which is scheduled for Sunday at the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman.
“Please join us in showing support for our beloved and courageous priest, Fr. James Altman,” states an event description.
Despite the threats from his bishop, Altman appeared on Dr. Taylor Marshall’s podcast Friday to discuss the topic.
Atlman’s message was endorsed by Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, who thanked Atlman for his courage.
As the Bishop of Tyler I endorse Fr Altman’s statement in this video. My shame is that it has taken me so long. Thank you Fr Altman for your COURAGE. If you love Jesus & His Church & this nation…pleases HEED THIS MESSAGE https://t.co/D413G0lfQV
— Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) September 5, 2020
Fr. James Martin, a controversial left-wing priest, denied starting “a campaign to complain” about Altman in a statement posted to Twitter Friday.
FTR: Fr. James Altman has said I started a campaign to complain about him. That's false. A few people asked me privately how to express their opinions, and I said you can always write to a priest's ordinary. But as the frequent target of such campaigns, I don't believe in them.
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) September 11, 2020
“That’s false. A few people asked me privately how to express their opinions, and I said you can always write to a priest’s ordinary,” he said. “But as the frequent target of such campaigns, I don’t believe in them.”