A Catholic priest ousted as a pastor for his criticism of COVID-19 policies has donated $100,000 to a new organization designed to support priests who are being canceled for strict adherence to church teachings.
The Rev. James Altman, formerly a pastor in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, had promised last month to match the first $100,000 in pledges to the newly formed Coalition for Canceled Priests.
“I said from the beginning that I would share this with other entities, other groups that could help support priests who were similarly persecuted to me,” Altman said in a video announcing the contribution. He presented a check to Fr. John Lovell, the group’s co-founder.
“They’re going to help other priests who have been canceled as well,” Altman added. “People just need to understand how many priests have been canceled by these little tyrants in miters.”
“The Coalition is grateful to Father Altman for his unwavering support of canceled and warehoused priests,” Lovell responded.
As the Tampa Free Press has reported, Altman was relieved as pastor of St. James the Less parish last month after he refused to dial back his criticism of politicians and Catholic bishops who closed churches during the pandemic and denied parishioners the sacraments. He also accused them of whipping up hysteria with the “feardemic.”
Altman in recent months also has leveled scathing criticism of the church for its unwillingness to address the clergy sex scandal more forcefully.
And last year, before the election, Altman posted a video, viewed more than 1 million times, in which he argued that Catholics cannot vote Democratic because of the party’s support for pro-abortion policies.
“Here’s a memo to clueless baptized Catholics out there: You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat. Period,” Altman said in the video. “Their party platform absolutely is against everything the Catholic church teaches. So 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.”
Fans rallied around Altman after he was forced out.
A crowd-funding account dedicated to pay for his appeal raised nearly $700,000.
The Coalition for Canceled Priests says its mission is to help “faithful” priests return to the ministry.
“In recent decades, an aberrant, non-Catholic element has manifested within the priesthood and hierarchy. This element is easy to identify thanks to its most striking characteristic — an unwillingness to resist and even a desire to celebrate, secular corruptions that have been condemned by the Church since its founding,” the group says on its website.
As one example, it notes that 61 bishops opposed the idea o discussing whether holy communion should be given to politicians who support abortion rights.
As one example of what it hopes to accomplish, the group recently gave $20,000 to Fr. James Parker in Illinois. Parker also was removed but wasn’t told why.
Parker told LifeSiteNews.com that he supposed his bishop was unhappy because he invited controversial conservative Bishop Athanasius Schneider to his parish; discussed installing in his church a communion rail, which separated the priest from the congregation and at which parishioners knelt to receive communion, considered more reverent than current methods; and without his bishop’s approval celebrated Mass ad orientem, meaning with his back to the congregation as the service was done before the liberal changes implemented under the Second Vatican Council II in the mid 1960s.
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