Time to summon moral courage

To the editor:

On July 9, the Rev. James Altman, a Catholic priest, was removed as pastor from St. James the Less in La Crosse, Wis. He was removed by Bishop William Callahan.

The bishop removed Altman after Altman refused to resign over making political comments and the bishop’s positions to close parishes during COVID.

The controversy started when Altman, during the 2020 election, gave a speech that was on YouTube. The title was “You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat. Period.” In the video he explained the church’s teaching on abortion and other core teachings. He went on to explain that the Democratic platform is absolutely against everything the Catholic church teaches.

During COVID, Altman was vocal about shepherds (bishops) who were quick to close down churches, deeming them non-essential and not caring for the spiritual needs of the flock.

Altman was doing the job that he dedicated his life to ­– educating the flock on Catholic teaching. He was unafraid to speak the truth and he exhibited moral and spiritual courage when talking about issues, unlike many U.S. bishops who cower to prominent politicians.

He spoke up about Catholic politician’s such as Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and others receiving Holy Communion, the body and blood of Christ, knowing their public stands on abortion, and the harm to their souls. What father pointed out shouldn’t even be a topic of discussion for the bishops of the United States or any other country, for that matter.

On Wednesday, Biden went to Cincinnati for a town hall and he spoke at Mount St. Joseph University, a Catholic university. Archbishop Dennis Schnurr approved the town hall, citing “diversity.”

Now is the time for bishops, religious and all the faithful to summon spiritual and moral courage.

Merica Petrella



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