A Catholic priest is facing serious backlash over his criticism of Democrats and refusal to abide by COVID-19 mitigation measures.
As the Daily Caller recently reported, however, Fr. James Altman is not backing down.
“When these two values come into direct conflict”
He revealed on Sunday that Bishop William Callahan of La Crosse, Wisconsin, had called on him to step down. Instead, Altman vowed to take his case all the way to the Vatican.
Although neither Callahan nor a spokesperson immediately responded to a request for comment, the Diocese of La Crosse did put out a statement on Tuesday explaining the bishop’s position.
Religious leaders cited “concerns” expressed about Altman’s ministry, as reported by the La Crosse Tribune.
“The salvation of souls takes precedence over the stability of the pastor in office when these two values come into direct conflict,” the diocese added.
According to the statement, “attempts were made” to allow Altman a chance to respond to the concerns but “a resolution of this situation has been unsuccessful.”
“Through my efforts at preaching the truth”
The priest has regularly denounced the Democratic Party for its stance on abortion and other issues as part of his sermons.
Furthermore, he recently told congregants that he took issue with pandemic restrictions, particularly the decision to shut down the nation’s churches during the public health crisis.
“For the record, through my efforts at preaching the truth, somehow — very unintended — the truth has gone ‘viral’ over the past 11 months and people all over the globe, as far away as Borneo [Italy] have written over 4,000 letters and cards — more than that in emails — all saying the same thing: ‘We’re starving out here.'”
Despite efforts to remove him, or perhaps because of them, the priest has attracted a broad base of support, as evidenced in the response to a fundraising account that has raised more than $270,000 on his behalf.
Altman addressed the ongoing opposition to remarks he has made from the pulpit, telling members of his church: “What really is at play here, dear family, is that other shepherds are offended that I simply state the fact that they have abandoned their sheep in a time of need.”