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Outspoken priest Fr. James Altman continues to cause controversy and bring down the wrath of bad bishops — this time in Detroit. Here's Church Militant's Christine Niles on Abp. Vigneron's latest crackdown.
Bp. Arturo Cepeda: “I’ve been asked by Abp. Vigneron to actually reach out to you ...”
The head of the Detroit archdiocese, Abp. Allen Vigneron — who happens to be vice president of the U.S. bishops' conference — is bullying a local Catholic group to cancel their keynote speaker.
Bp. Arturo Cepeda: "Father James Altman ... and [the] archbishop raised a number of concerns about the speaker.”
Wisconsin priest Fr. James Altman is best known for forcefully defending the Faith, condemning Catholics who vote Democrat and slamming faithless, cowardly clergy.
Fr. James Altman: "That is not being a Catholic martyr. We’re all called to martyrdom, not this wimpy, pansy ... Oh my goodness.”
Altman is speaking at the Call to Holiness conference in Detroit June 16 — and Abp. Vigneron isn't happy about it.
Bp. Arturo Cepeda: "I’m speaking on behalf of Abp. Vigneron, and I quote: ‘Fr Altman he has been divisive in his own diocese and I am very much concerned he will bring that here’ end quote.”
Fr. James Altman: “I’ll wear that as a badge of honor. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came to be divisive, to separate from the sheep from the goats, the faithful from the unfaithful.”)
At a virtual meeting Wednesday morning, where Vigneron was represented by auxiliary bishop Arturo Cepeda, members of Call to Holiness stood firm, making clear the short notice made it impossible to cancel the sold-out event.
Chris Kolomjec: “We got 700 tickets sold and we don’t even know how to contact the people.”)
They were willing to negotiate, canceling the live stream, disinviting media and proposing a disclaimer to distance the archdiocese from the event.
One of the members expressed confusion over Vigneron’s concerns.
Therese Williams: “The archbishop says that Fr. Altman is divisive, but we’re not told — how is he divisive? Is he speaking the truth? I don’t get this. What exactly are the grounds that the archdiocese wants this canceled?”
Bp. Arturo Cepeda: “I don’t have an answer for you, Therese, because this is the first time I’m hearing about it.”
Cepeda is taking the group's proposals to Vigneron, who won’t be happy the event isn’t being canceled. What repercussions Call to Holiness will face from an archdiocese known for its vindictiveness remains to be seen.
The 'divisive' complaint lodged by Vigneron is the same one used by Fr. Altman's own bishop in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, the bishop's excuse to oust the priest from his parish. Father Altman is fighting that canonically.