The faithful believe that the Roman Catholic Church was divinely founded and will be divinely protected for all time — but the fallible men running it are doing everything they can to try to destroy it anyway.
The institution has been reeling since the Boston Globe exposed the clergy sex abuse scandal in 2002, and the stench from decades of such rotten sin and dirty cover-ups linger today.
Still, it seems that the only sin worthy of the harshest penalties are those committed against wokeism — at least as far as Bishop William Callahan of La Crosse, Wisconsin, is concerned in his diocese.
Callahan has stripped a pastor of his priestly faculties because of his outspoken defense of the Catholic faith against the depravity from the left. Meanwhile, another high-ranking cleric embroiled in a gay sex scandal has no such restrictions despite his broken vow and public disgrace.
The bishop reserved his strictest chastisement for Fr. James Altman of St. James the Less Parish in La Crosse, an orthodox priest who was turned into a pariah last summer after videos of his preaching such as “Fr. Altman: You cannot be Catholic & a Democrat. Period. (Part I)” went viral.
“Here’s a memo to clueless baptized Catholics out there: You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat. Period,” Altman said in an August 2020 video posted to YouTube.
“Their party platform absolutely is against everything the Catholic Church teaches,” he railed just ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
“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 urged.
“There will be 60 million and counting aborted babies standing at the gates of heaven barring your Democrat entrance, and nothing you can say will ever excuse you for your direct or indirect support of that diabolical agenda. Period. The end,” he later continued, calling out the “gutless cowards in the clergy who refuse to speak up and speak out on that truth.”
Altman courageously refused to back down in the face of the ensuing blowback and instead released a follow-up video about “liberal Catholics” whom he called “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
And then shortly after the election, Altman challenged the left’s orthodoxy by speaking out against COVID-19 lockdowns that kept the faithful away from the sacraments.
Churches were shuttered during the 2020 lockdowns, and bishops went along with it as Catholics were barred from the physical sacraments that are so integral to their worship and their lives, including the reception of the communion that they believe is truly Jesus Christ in body, blood, soul and divinity.
Altman urged the faithful to “never again” stand for their “shepherds” starving the sheep by going along with such “a godless proposition to lock the churches and deny people access to the raw materials they need — the holy sacrifice of the mass, the sacraments,” he said in a November homily, according to Alpha News.
But his outspokenness on behalf of the faithful has now cost him his right to publicly say Mass, preach at or perform weddings or baptize anyone including family members, according to the Catholic News Agency.
“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,” the La Crosse diocese informed him in a July 9 decree. (Look out for “unity” anytime someone in the church is trying to crush traditional ideas and worship.)
“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 statement read.
“The decree is effective immediately and for an indeterminate period of time. During this time Fr. Altman, must refrain from exercising the function of pastor.”
These measures were swift and severe on the priest who never challenged the faith but rather called out the leftists and the apostates — yet no such restrictions have been imposed on Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill after it came to light that he was caught using the gay hookup app Grindr.
Catholic news outlet The Pillar allegedly unearthed evidence in late July that Burrill “visited gay bars and private residences while using a location-based hookup app in numerous cities from 2018 to 2020, even while traveling on assignment for the U.S. bishops’ conference.”
Burrill had served as the general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — a position that The Pillar said made him “effectively the highest-ranking American cleric who is not a bishop” — until he resigned following the publication of the story about his extracurricular activities.
These allegations are serious as priests are bound to a vow of celibacy, making any sexual activity a major offense whether doing so while traveling on official church business or not.
But these were no ordinary hookups — they were homosexual “acts of grave depravity” that the church has always declared to be “intrinsically disordered,” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Church Militant Editor-in-Chief Christine Niles shared Callahan’s carefully worded letter on behalf of the diocese that made it clear the “media reports establish no facts in truth about Jeff’s behavior either innocent or not” — a telling gesture compared to how Altman was treated.
“The same bishop who stripped Fr. Altman of his faculties is quick to defend his friend Msgr. Burrill, caught hooking up w/men on Grindr,” Niles charged in a July 24 tweet. “The network protects its own.”
Bishop Callahan: “The media reports establish no facts in truth about Jeff’s behavior either innocent or not.”
The same bishop who stripped Fr. Altman of his faculties is quick to defend his friend Msgr. Burrill, caught hooking up w/men on Grindr.
The network protects its own. pic.twitter.com/FR2f0KbGQs
— Christine Niles (@ChristineNiles1) July 24, 2021
It’s interesting to note that Callahan is a defendant in a lawsuit currently making its way through the courts that alleges the cover-up of sexual misconduct against a seminarian — a fact that perhaps makes it more palatable to target orthodox religious thought rather than homosexual misbehavior.
Moreover, it took the hierarchy of the church decades to do anything about a cleric like ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick who was only defrocked in 2019 and is just now facing criminal charges, The Washington Post reported.
For years, rumors swirled about the American cleric’s penchant for preying on boys, priests and seminarians while little was done to stop it or even expose the truth.
The mistakes of the past are just that.
However, the harsh current treatment of a conservative priest who offered his congregation the Traditional Latin Mass and a little conservative orthodoxy compared to the way a flagrant homosexual monsignor is being protected hints that problems persist.
Altman was loved by his congregation and supporters have so far raised nearly $700,000 through various crowdfunding sites while the faithful have pledged to give”not one more penny” to the diocese, the La Crosse Tribune reported.
It’s clear Callahan felt it necessary and acceptable to muzzle such a solid priest while taking no such measures against a man like Burrill who isn’t living out his vocation.
If these problems persist of allowing those in power to target orthodox Catholics while ignoring the real problems that divide and dishearten the faithful, Pope Francis may have the beginnings of a schism on his hands.
But the good news for Catholics is that the church still firmly holds the deposit of faith. It is the only place Catholics believe they can ever receive Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist.
They firmly believe God will always protect the sacred truths — even when the mortal men in charge are corrupt and depraved — just as he has for the past two millennia since Jesus founded his church on Peter.
“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it,” Matthew 16:18 states.
The gates of hell seem pretty close right now, but that promise hasn’t changed.
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