A Roman Catholic priest who went viral for his impassioned sermons blasting the “godless platform” of the Democratic Party was removed from his role as a pastor, his diocese said on Friday.
Father James Altman of St. James the Less Catholic Church in La Crosse, Wisconsin, was forced to step down from his position after gaining national notoriety after denying Bishop William Patrick Callahan’s order to resign in May, reports the La Crosse Tribune.
Callahan insisted on Altman’s resignation alleging that he was being “divisive” as well as “ineffective” due to his controversial rhetoric, which was usually political and skeptical about the COVID vaccine and lockdowns.
According to the Federalist, “Altman’s homilies have gone viral over the past year, beginning with a fiery broadside against the modern Democratic Party’s pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-transgender platform, but zeroing in on failures in Catholic Church leadership to teach the catechism, keep the faithful coming to church, police sexual sins and abusers in the clergy, positively affect the culture, maintain a moral influence on politics, and most recently, simply keep their doors open amidst COVID-19 panics and secular leaders’ demands that worship end or be severely curtailed.”
In his first homily that went viral, Altman cautioned that self-professed Catholics who back the Democratic Party’s platform are at risk of damnation, especially due to the “diabolical agenda” of abortion. “You cannot be Catholic and a Democrat, period,” he explains. “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.”
Altman also called out “hypocrites” in the church hierarchy who accused him of being “too political,” noting that these types of attacks always come from the Left who seem to have no problem when the Church embraces elements of the left-wing political agenda.
Altman also shocked some with his mainly maskless prayer services. He also advised his congregation to steer clear of the “experimental” COVID vaccines, which he called “diabolical”, according to the La Crosse Tribune.
A crowdfund has raised close to $400,000 to back him.