On July 8, Bishop William Patrick Callahan issued an immediate decree removing the Rev. James Altman as pastor of St. James the Less, a parish in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The decree will be in effect for an unspecified length of time, the statement read.
“(The bishop) and his diocesan representatives have spent over a year, prayerfully and fraternally, working toward a resolution related to ongoing public and ecclesial concerns of the ministry of Fr. James Altman,” the statement said. “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.”
Officials from the diocese have refused to provide the decree and have not responded to a request for a copy.
Altman told LifeSiteNews that he’s not surprised the Catholic hierarchy is attempting to silence him.
“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.”
Altman, whose viral “You Can’t Be a Catholic and a Democrat” video ahead of the 2020 presidential election made him famous, has recently clashed with his bishop. Altman stated at the end of June that he was about to be fired after Callahan urged him to resign.
In online videos, Altman called U.S. bishops “cowards” and a “brood of vipers,” claiming that the Catholic hierarchy wants him gone because he tells the truth. Supporters from throughout the country flocked to Christian crowdfunding sites to raise more than $700,000 for his defense in June.
Altman also has the option of appealing Callahan’s decision to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, which has the power to sustain or overturn Callahan’s decision. If the priest disagrees with the Congregation’s decision, he may request another Vatican review.
Altman’s popularity has grown across the United States as Catholics become angry with the hierarchy’s refusal to uphold Church law and deny abortion-activist politicians Holy Communion in accordance with canon 915.