Who’s in charge of Fr. James Altman?

IMPORTANT UPDATE: I made some pretty serious mistakes about canon law in this essay. You can read my correction here. I apologize for my errors and my rashness. I hope there is still some good to glean from my original essay, below, but you can judge that for yourself. 

A fundraiser for Fr. James Altman has raised over $100,000 for legal fees to defend him against  . . . being Catholic, as far as I can tell. 

Fr. Altman announced in his pentecost homily on May 23 that Bishop William Callahan asked him to resign as pastor of St. James the Less in La Crosse, but Fr. Altman doesn’t wanna. You can watch his homily here:

Fr. Altman has enjoyed a bubble of internet fame by promoting a hodge-podge of far right conspiracy theories in his sermons, in his church’s bulletin, and in independent videos and podcasts. He’s referred to people who support mask mandates as “Godless vermin.” He’s defied local ordinances about covid safety, and he has a long track record of saying cruel and outrageous things (a few examples: women can’t preach because all they’re concerned with is questions like, “Does this dress make me look fat?” whereas men want truth and straight answers; and the Warsaw Jews brought the holocaust on themselves by not fighting against abortion. There is more, but I don’t have the heart to keep hunting.)   

Why am I writing about this, rather than just shaking my head and minding my business? Normally I have no patience with people who spend their days amplifying ideas that disgust them. Unless you’re gathering information to make a specific argument, or building evidence to make a specific a case, then what’s the point? You’re just whipping up a froth of rage that will lift you up over the meaningful things that rightly demand your attention in your actual life. So I try not to reflexively engage in that.

But I guess I still have a little pocket of naïveté, because even though I’m not shocked by any of the ugly, awful things the guy has said, I am shocked by his open defiance of his bishop (who is, after all, not asking him to sin). This priest is apparently going to accept money to hire a canon lawyer to try to force the bishop to let him remain pastor of a church. I’m not an expert in canon law, but this strikes me as utterly scrambled incoherent nonsense. If he rejects the authority of the bishop, and he’s directed his flock to reject the authority of the pope (which he’s done), then who will he appealing to, exactly, by hiring a canon lawyer?  Who does he imagine is in charge? 

This is a dude who thinks a lot of things are diabolical. Being a democrat damns you to hell; wearing a mask is demonic; pretty much anything that he doesn’t like is either from hell, or will send you straight to hell. Fine, this is normal far right rhetoric.

But even if you believe he’s right about that stuff, how are you gonna say “I don’t have to listen to my bishop, but I’ll fight him until I can get what I want” . . . and then go into the confessional and tell someone it’s a sin to use a condom, or skip mass, or be a woman priest, or anything? How are you gonna pick and choose when obedience matters, without capsizing the whole ship? Either we have to do what the Church tells us to do, or we don’t. And if we don’t, then why are we here? Why is a man who rejects obedience asking people to call him “father?”

Show me a saint who rejected obedience, whether the person in authority was just or unjust. Show me a saint who set an example of defiance to a legitimate church authority, or any legitimate authority who wasn’t asking them to sin. 

Or, show me that time that Jesus was condemned to suffer and die, and rather than submit to the Father in obedience, he raised a bunch of money for a lawyer so he could keep on making podcasts. 

Look, I haven’t made it any secret that I’m feeling disenchanted with my faith these days (I know, so original). Things that used to make perfect sense feel sketchy and wobbly to me, and things that used to seem beautiful look dumb and pointless half the time. I’m clinging by my nails, here. But I’ll tell you what, I may be disenchanted, but I’m not a freaking idiot. I know who I am, and how unreliable I am. I know what happens if I make up the rules according to what suits me. I know where that path leads. I’ve smelled the smell that comes from that place where the worm dieth not. I know that worm, and I know how he likes to make you think you’re a hero for doing whatever you want. And I know what happens next.

If I want the strength of the Eucharist and the sweet relief of confession, the sanity and coherence of the Gospels, the beauty and splendor of the truth, it’s a package deal. I can’t pick and choose. So I obey the church, as best I can. And when I don’t obey, at least I know that I’m the one who’s out of line. 

Obedience sucks. Jesus obeyed the Father. It sucked. But it worked out, because God is God and God made the Church and that’s how it works. Obedience is central to our faith.  Every Catholic has someone to obey. It’s true of Fr. Altman, it’s true of pro-abortion Catholics, it’s true of Fr. Altman’s bishop, it’s true of the poor saps who sit in the pew and listen to him tell you who to hate and why and send him money so he can keep doing it. Every single person from every walk of life in the Church has someone to obey. Nobody’s exempt from obedience, unless you’re being asked to sin.

If you’re a priest and you’re not obeying your bishop, that doesn’t mean you’re independent or brave or bold. You’re still obeying.  You’re obeying the one who said “non serviam.” And I don’t mean that as a rhetorical “gotcha.” I’m gonna pray for Fr. Altman, because disobedience is literally Satanic. 


Image: Fr. Altman (Screenshot from video embedded above)

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72 thoughts on “Who’s in charge of Fr. James Altman?”

  1. I will pray for your conversion, Simcha.

    If you can’t convert, then yes you need to leave the Church immediately so that you can see Christ more clearly from a distance that will only be possible after leaving.

    1. Simcha, I’m really glad that you are intelligent enough not to let such an arrogant, hypocritical and unChristian comment prompt you to leave the Church.

  2. It should be obvious to the average person that Fr. Altman is not well. He reminds me of Fr. Charles Coughlin who attracted millions of people to his radio show each week, until he was pulled for his anti-Semitic remarks. He is NOT like Bishop Sheen, who always brought people the Word of God and did not cause scandal for the church. What is so shocking are the number of Catholics who follow this renegade priest (Fr. Altman). It’s too bad he was allowed to preach his anti-Catholic nonsense before he was asked to resign. He will not win because basically he has left the Catholic Church and renounced the teachings of Jesus Christ.

      1. If you are referring to my words, just find out why Fr. Altman was asked to resign and you’ll know I am not telling lies. This priest is political and passionate, but he does not bring us the Word or spirit of Jesus Christ. He is a renegade priest who has caused scandal in the church.

        1. The last time the Church soothsayers were beingspoken against

          the Lutheran denomination came into being. Looks as if this is going to happen again. The author of this article itself qualifies Fr. ALTMAN as condeming himself by refusing obedience to his Bishop. Yet the author states that church law tells us it is fine to disobey if the orders are sinful. Fr Altman is speaking against abortion etc., Is he lying about the limp attitude the Church has taken until recently? Too little too late. He acts as Jesus did when he moved against the money exchange at the temple…..He blew! St Michael we need you

  3. Parents, if you offer up your children to the false god of medicine (pharmakeia – Molech worship), you will be guilty of murder, and in the highest Supreme Court in heaven you will have to give an account for your actions.

    For those parents who want to protect your children from these eugenic, population-reduction bioweapon shots, how far will you go to protect your children?

    The group of parents in Canada in the video above made their voices heard, but there is no indication that their own children were in those pop-up clinics.

    I don’t know these people, but more than likely they were there to try to warn the children of other parents, and save their lives.

    If they were being blocked from their own children, I suspect this would have been a very different kind of video.

    I applaud these Canadian parents.

    And I am sorry, but I am sick of seeing these videos of American parents getting hot and bothered at local school board meetings because they don’t want their children to wear masks in school.


    Wake up! What we see above happening in Canada is happening right here in the United States also!

    A bill has been passed in Washington D.C. that allows children as young as 11-years-old to get a COVID-19 shot without their parents’ approval, and similar bills are making their way through several state legislatures.

    If you don’t want your children to be injected with this bioweapon, you MUST pull them out of public schools immediately while you still have a chance to save them!

    These shots are already manufactured, and most adults foolish enough to want them voluntarily have mostly already received them.

    Now they are targeting 12 to 15-year-olds, and younger children are next.

    After parents willingly sacrifice their children to this Luciferian system, their attention will turn on the “vaccine hesitant.”

    But by then, most of us (and there aren’t that many of us) who are still publishing the truth regarding these bioweapons will be deplatformed, making it extremely difficult to find our news, as we will need to retreat to the Dark Web.

    Most of us have already been banned from the most popular Social Media sites, and Twitter just this week banned the National Vaccine Information Center, the nation’s oldest vaccine advocacy group.

    Seizing our websites will be next, so there is very little time left to get this information out.

    Some groups are seeking relief from the U.S. Judicial system, but that system is thoroughly corrupt, and you will be well-advised to not expect relief there (but support the efforts anyway).

    How far are you willing to go to protect your children? Are you willing to die in that effort?

    Children, if your parents encourage you to get one of the bioweapon shots and you know the truth, how far are you willing to go to resist your parents?

    The time has come to choose sides, and for those willing to lose their lives standing for the truth have a promise from Jesus Christ.

    1. Please provide information on the bill passed in D.C. that permits children as young as 11 to get the Covid 19 Vaccine withoit parental approval? I never heard of pf such a thing.

    2. You are legitimately bat-shit crazy. The vaccine is not a diabolical bioweapon. It’s a tool for harm reduction. It’s not gene therapy.

      I’m very tired of seeing this harmful fear mongering malarkey that does harm.

    3. What a barrage of pure piffle from you John! I suggest you take some refresher courses in sciences from a a reputable university and avoid going down QAnon rabbit holes. You are posting this unhinged piffle at 1:23 am when your poor brain clearly needs some rest.

    4. John, I would not debate the writer of this article who is dishing the most admired catholic priest since the great Bishop Fulton Sheen. It is solid catholics world-wide NOW who are flocking to his aid. His bishop on the other hand has the backing of every perverted priest , cardinal and bishop in our beleagured Church today . Take your pick ! The writer himself comes over as anti -catholic , anti-Christian. He talks of the importance of obeying and respecting one’s bishop yet shows nothing but scorn for this “most favoured by God” and most loved priest.

      1. Before you start debating an author who you’re pretending not to debate, you might want to make sure you’re clear on the author’s gender.

  4. Father Altman communicates quite a lot on Youtube but I never heard him blame Jews for the Holocaust. For the people repeating this claim please share the link. I find this claim hard to believe.

    1. I don’t want to hunt it down but did hear it from the ambo August to October. It upset me greatly with a parent of Jewish roots. It’s true that it and things equally offensive were spoken out of JA’s mouth. I saw the smoke before this blaze for over a year and during the pandemic height and losing people in every direction (approaching anniversaries – all priests this month…June 2, 13 & 14. I also see neon lights of warning signs that JA needs psychiatric assistance. Who fights to keep their job like that? PRAYING.

  5. Hi, I just wanted to recommend treading carefully about the Warsaw comments. I think it is best to give people the benefit of the doubt, even when they are people I don’t agree with.

    I personally don’t know if the destruction of Warsaw was a punishment for the sin of abortion. This article makes a case for it through analyzing St. Faustina’s writings and other sources. https://www.thedivinemercy.org/articles/poland-1930s-are-we-due-chastisement

    I do believe God could (and has) in his justice punish a city as Sodom and Gomorah were punished. God is uniquely qualified in his wisdom to take life, as he can see all ends. By analogy it would be like a surgeon removing a cancerous part of a patient, to save the rest. I don’t think God takes gleeful revenge like a tyrant, rather it is a sober weighing of the outcomes.

    You said Fr. Altman believes “the Warsaw Jews brought the holocaust on themselves by not fighting against abortion”

    Fr. Altman said in the podcast (link below) “You know, you know this, Faustina warned Warsaw, the Jews in Warsaw, the doctors there, were having people coming in from all over, it was all for money, to, from Europe, to have abortions and she warned them…”


    Whether it is true or not, it seems to me that Fr. Altman was saying the Jewish abortionists in Warsaw were performing many abortions on women from far and wide, and that resulted in the destruction of the city.
    You seem to have interpreted Fr. Altman to say that the Jews in Warsaw (350,000 Jews at that time) brought the holocaust on themselves by not resisting abortion in general. About 30% of Warsaw was Jewish at the time, and I don’t know what percentage of the doctors were Jewish, it could be higher or lower than 30%. The obvious lightning rod here is the word “Jew”, and his intention in using that word is uncertain.

    I guess my point is there is a stark difference between interpreting the writings of Saint Faustina a certain way, vs. something entirely different.. What you said about Fr. Altman could easily be interpreted to mean Fr. Altman is blaming the Jews for the holocaust. (see Claire’s comment). I don’t think that was what you meant, but I thought I should comment.

  6. Okay, sure, this priest has the right to hire a canon lawyer. Your mea culpa was warranted, but come on.

    The poor priest is a loose canon. Nobody needs a loose canon to captain the ship. Nobody. Especially not now. I’ll call him a Covid kick to the temple.

    You probably need to laugh a little more these days to get back your Catholic mojo.

    Anyway, you’ve probably seen this years ago, but I didn’t. My son, who told me a funny (related) story about it showed it to me last Friday.

    Alt right Catholics are bullies, just like their golden one:

    We are like a bunch of idiot kindergartners, but kindergartners are cute.
    I laughed so hard at the video I literally fell out of my seat. It’s been years since I laughed so hard. I see this stuff played out on the playground all the time, but the perps are six.

        1. Maybe I am just in a more somber mood today but I found that video so depressing. What a horrible way to treat people.

          1. I hear you Kathleen. It really is sad the way he treats people. The thing that made me laugh is that it makes him look like an overgrown toddler, but you’re right that it doesn’t change the fact that Jeb Bush didn’t deserve to be treated that way at all.

  7. The author of this piece is not Catholic, or he would know there are several Saints that went against the popular politics of their day. Sir Thomas Moore was an English lawyer who refused to acknowledge Henry VIII as the supreme head of the Church of England and refused to acknowledge the annulment of the King’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. He was killed. Similarly, Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador was appointed to his post because his superiors thought he would be apolitical. When Father Romero saw the election fraud in his country , he protested the guerilla like conditions and was killed while saying mass. Priests are supposed to stand up for what is right and true. That is what Father Altman is doing and why you will continue to persecute those who merely utter the truth.

    1. The author most certainly is Catholic, and by making such an accusation, you’re the on doing the persecuting. As is Father Altman, when he blames Jews for bringing the Holocaust on themselves. That is not truth, it’s a dangerous lie.

      1. Its very dangerous to suggest that anyone other than white males possesses free will. Then black people or women or Jews or illegals or [other group oppressed by white males] might be held responsible for something. It would destroy r democracy.

        1. So you’re saying that we should blame the victims for their fate (being rounded up and crowded into train cars like cattle and lead to camps where they were tortured, starved and ultimately gassed), rather than the Nazis who did it to them? That it was their free will for this to happen to them?

          1. Every white male is a Nazi, more or less. Jews have never done anything wrong, individually or collectively. Neither have women or illegals or blacks or any other group. They can’t. They’re victims.

            1. Oh great, a Holocaust denier. It was all the Jews’ fault that they turned into skeletons and were gassed. Adding you to the list of trolls who aren’t worth the time of day….

              1. Lol I didn’t expect that AT AAAAAALLLLLL. You can’t stop whats coming. White men are going to be victims like everyone else. Those are your r@*#*$?#ed rules, not mine. Good luck caucaphobe.

                1. Yeah, that’s me, a caucaphobe with skin so pale you can practically see right through it. You would have fit right in with Nazi Germany, except I think the Nazis were probably a tad bit more eloquent (not that I want to compliment them, but I have to speak the truth).

                2. sorry, I was away from my computer and a ‘won’t someone thing of the white men’ got in. Honest to goodness.

                3. No need to apologize. With 10 kids, I’m sure you have better things to do with your time than to babysit the trolls.

    2. I believe Oscar Romero still hasn’t been canonized because the men who murdered him were right wing and sympathetic to JPII and B16? Altman clearly would support the men who murdered Romero.

    3. Thank you🙏✝️Some people don’t like the truth is why attack father Altman ✝️Is a good priest and defend the real Gospel ✝️If don’t like don’t get the church get Germany , luterant , Mormons many fals Cristian ✝️🙏VIVA CRiSTO REY ✝️🙏✝️🙏

  8. Catholics around the world are feeling abandoned, insulted and demoralized because the Vatican, along with most bishops and other Catholic institutions (especially the hospitals and schools,) are not only approving but starting to require receipt of the Moderna and Pfizer RNA gene injections tested on aborted baby cell lines.

    COVID gene manipulation injection (it’s not a vaccine).

    The fact is that the reason Church leadership and institutions have no moral qualms with receiving dangerous, abortion-tainted gene manipulation injections is that they are Modernists or at least subscribe to erroneous modernist heresies. It’s also why so many commentators, educators, and “Catholic” medical facilities are willing to go along with this diabolically fueled invention of the Freemasonic Great Reset.

    1. If I might take a moment to elevate this conversation, I’d like to point out that, if you take the “gmail” off your email address, the rest of it could be rearranged to spell “Isolated Tabby,” “a tasty dibble,” “baby salt toy,” and, most significantly, “Balboa’s tit dye.” I think it’s pretty clear that the Freemasons have been here, too.

      1. You and your echo chamber of fools are supporting crimes against humanity.

        A team of over 1,000 lawyers and over 10,000 medical experts led by Dr. Reiner Fuellmich have begun legal proceedings against the CDC, WHO & the Davos Group for crimes against humanity.

        Fuellmich and his team present the faulty PCR test and the order for doctors to label any comorbidity death as a Covid death as fraud.

        The PCR test was never designed to detect pathogens and is 100% faulty at 35 cycles. All the PCR tests overseen by the CDC are set at 37 to 45 cycles. The CDC admits that any tests over 28 cycles are not admissible for a positive reliable result. This alone invalidates over 90% of the alleged covid cases/”infections” tracked by the use of this faulty test.

        In addition to the flawed tests and fraudulent death certificates, the “experimental” vaccine itself is in violation of Article 32 of the Geneva Convention. Under Article 32 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, “mutilation and medical or scientific experiments not necessitated by the medical treatment of a protected person” are prohibited. According to Article 147, conducting biological experiments on protected persons is a grave breach of the Convention.

        The “experimental” vaccine is in violation of all 10 of the Nuremberg Codes which carry the death penalty for those who seek to violate these International Laws…

        Nuremberg Code #1: Voluntary Consent is Essential

        No person should be forced to take a medical experiment without informed consent. Many media, political and non-medical persons are telling people to take the shot. They offer no information as to the adverse effects or dangers of this gene-therapy. All you hear from them is – ” safe and effective” and “benefits outweigh the risks.” … During the Nuremberg trials, even the media were prosecuted, and members were put to death for lying to the public, along with many of the doctors and Nazis found guilty of Crimes Against Humanity.

        Nuremberg Code #2: Yield Fruitful Results Unprocurable By Other Means

        The gene-therapy does not meet the criteria of a vaccine and does not offer immunity to the virus. There are other medical treatments that yield fruitful results against Covid such as Ivermectin, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc and boosted immune systems for flu and colds.

        Nuremberg Code #3: Base Experiments on Results of Animal Experimentation and Natural History of Disease

        This gene therapy skipped animal testing and went straight to human trials. In mRNA research that Pfizer used – a candidate study on mRNA with rhesus macaques monkeys using BNT162b2 mRNA and in that study all the monkeys developed pulmonary inflammation but the researchers considered the risk low as these were young healthy monkeys from the age of 2-4. Israel has used Pfizer and the International Court of Law has accepted a claim for 80% of the recipients having pulmonary inflammation from being injected with this gene-therapy. Despite this alarming development Pfizer proceeded to develop their mRNA for Covid without animal testing.

        Nuremberg Code #4: Avoid All Unnecessary Suffering and Injury

        Since the rollout of the experiment and listed under the CDC VAERS reporting system over 4,000 deaths and 50,000 vaccine injuries have been reported in America. In the EU over 7,000 deaths and 365,000 vaccine injuries have been reported. This is a grievous violation of this code.

        Nuremberg Code #5: No Experiment to be Conducted if There’s Reason to Think Injury or Death Will Occur

        See #4, based on fact-based medical data this gene-therapy is causing death and injury. Past research on mRNA also shows several risks that have been ignored for this current trial gene-experiment. A 2002 study on SARS-CoV-1 spike proteins showed they cause inflammation, immunopathology, blood clots, and impede Angiotensin 2 expression. This experiment forces the body to produce this spike-protein inheriting all these risks.

        Nuremberg Code #6: Risk Should Never Exceed the Benefit

        Covid-19 has a 98-99% recovery rate. The vaccine injuries, deaths and adverse side-effects of mRNA gene-therapy far exceed this risk. The use of “leaky” vaccines was banned for agriculture use by the US and EU due to the Marek Chicken study that shows ‘hot-viruses’ and variants emerge… making the disease even more deadly. Yet, this has been ignored for human use by the CDC knowing fully the risk of new deadlier variants emerge from leaky vaccinations. The CDC is fully aware that the use of leaky vaccines facilitates the emergence of hot (deadlier)strains. Yet they’ve ignored this when it comes to humans.

        Nuremberg Code #7: Preparation Must Be Made Against Even Remote Possibility of Injury, Disability or Death

        There were no preparations made. This gene therapy skipped animal trials. The pharmaceutical companies’ own Phase 3 human clinical trials will not conclude until 2022 /2023. These vaccines were approved under an Emergency Use only act and forced on a misinformed public. They are NOT FDA-approved.

        Nuremberg Code #8: Experiment Must Be Conducted by Scientifically Qualified Persons

        Politicians, media and actors claiming that this is a safe and effective vaccine are not qualified. Propaganda is not medical science. Many retail outlets such as Walmart & drive-through vaccine centers are not qualified to administer experimental medical gene-therapies to the uninformed public.

        Nuremberg Code #9: Anyone Must Have the Freedom to Bring the Experiment to an End At Any Time

        Despite the outcry of over 85,000 doctors, nurses, virologists and epidemiologists – the experiment is not being ended. In fact, there are currently many attempts to change laws in order to force vaccine compliance. This includes mandatory and forced vaccinations. Experimental ‘update’ shots are planned for every 6 months without any recourse to the growing number of deaths and injuries already caused by this experiment. These ‘update’ shots will be administered without any clinical trials. Hopefully this new Nuremberg Trial will put an end to this crime against humanity.

        Nuremberg Code #10: The Scientist Must Bring the Experiment to an End At Any Time if There’s Probable Cause of it Resulting in Injury or Death

        It is clear in the statistical reporting data that this experiment is resulting in death and injury yet all the politicians, drug companies and so-called experts are not making any attempt to stop this gene-therapy experiment from inflicting harm on a misinformed public.

        What can you do to help put an end to this crime against humanity? Share this information. Hold your politicians, media, doctors and nurses accountable – that if they are complicit in this crime against humanity, they too are subject to the laws set forth in the Geneva Convention and Nuremberg Code and can be tried, found guilty and put to death. Legal proceedings are moving forward, evidence has been collected and a large growing body of experts are sounding the alarm.

        1. The polio vaccine was unproven. Back then only 60 years ago people had faith in the then unknown.
          Now people only have faith in idols that parrott their “feelings”.
          Like Altman . Like Trump. Like Hagee. Like Pat Robertson.
          They are the anti-Christs that people are waiting for.
          Yes Altman is the devil.

              1. Shocking. I can’t believe such an upstanding president as Trump would push so hard for a poisonous injection. You’ve just wrecked my faith in humanity.

  9. Of course Father Altman is holy and is telling the truth. And he’s being persecuted simply because he actually preaches the full gospel and the full Catholic truth and not woke and politically correct lies. But you’re a fake Catholic supporting the Covid cult as your God to your echo chamber of godless fake Catholics. You’re a disgrace.

    The Great Reset is not only the last stage prior to the establishment of the reign of the Antichrist, but it has acquired all of the connotations of a true religion, borrowing its language, creating ceremonies, appointing its own priests. The rituality of the present pandemic is quite obvious, especially in the way they have wanted to give the vaccine a sacramental value, to the point of resorting to priests and bishops – and even the pope himself – to promote it, even preaching that it is indispensable for salvation, identifying it as a “moral duty” for every believer. Thus, in prohibiting the Holy Sacrifice to the true God and banning the administration of the true Sacraments, the new Covid religion has imposed itself with new hygienic rituals and new sacraments of health.

    The faith of the disciple of the Coronavirus in the media narrative is the grotesque parody of the act of faith required of the Catholic, with the difference that the dogmas of the health religion to which unconditional assent is required are totally irrational, unreasonable, and illogical; there is not an adhesion to a truth that transcends reason but rather to a dogma that contradicts it, showing that, like all false religions, Covid crosses the line into superstition. Those who believe in Covid thus find themselves in the position of having to give proof of their submission to its sacred ministers, even in the face of concepts that are repugnant to medical science and common sense: the use of masks is obligatory even if they do not protect against contagion; the vaccine is imposed even if it does not give immunity, treatments not approved by the Health Sanhedrin are prohibited even if their effectiveness is obvious. And we should add: the more absurd the order that is given, the more the disciple feels that he is a member of the sect precisely by the very act of obeying.

    It is disconcerting that those who today abdicate from reason in the face of the proclamations of the virologist-pontiffs declare that they are “rationalists” and convinced supporters of science against any sort of dogmatistic fideism. On the other hand, when people do not believe in God, they end up believing in anything.

        1. I wish WordPress had a way for the normal comments to come to my inbox but not the troll monologue comments…

    1. I’m just curious John-o, how do you spell this author’s name?

      (Of this article, not the one you copy-pasted.)

  10. Dear Simcha
    I have read both your post on father “alt-right” and they are both fair and honest. However it’s the bit about doubting things that caught my heart.

    May I offer two small observations.

    Firstly doubt is a fundamental part of the New Testament, Jesus doubted in the garden and Thomas doubted until he saw proof.

    Secondly Jesus only gave two commandments, Love God, Love each other. Or in other words LOVE.

    Doubt isn’t wrong, just proof that you are thinking but as long as you have Love your path will be right.

    Please ignore me, I’m probably wrong but I love reading your content and hope that you will continue posting it.

    Kindest Regards

  11. Obedience is a topic that I think about a lot, as I had a very painful experience with it during my two years as a postulant with a religious order. Religious take a vow of obedience, so of course we took it really seriously. I was told that only evil comes of disobedience, and given examples similar to that of Fr. Altman. I was told that Christ and all the saints obeyed, even in difficult and contrary matters, and that their obedience produced good fruit according to God’s will. All this is certainly true, and I’m not disagreeing with anything in your article! But what happened to me is that I started developing extreme chronic health problems, and my superiors, who had good intentions, handled the situation rather badly. They made harmful decisions about my health against my will, and when I argued and explained, they didn’t change their minds. So I obeyed because I didn’t think I could say “no.” I had to eat food that made me sick, I had to do work that was too hard for me, I had to stand in choir when I was close to fainting and try not to hold on to anything because my Novice Mistress, for reasons known only to God, saw fit to put me under obedience to stop holding the pew for support. And I kept telling myself that I had to obey because it wasn’t a sin to eat cake, or rake the garden, or let go of the pew. But I hurt myself badly, and of course, my relationship with my Novice Mistress suffered. I was so confused, because I had been taught to connect our daily acts of obedience to the obedience of Christ on the cross, or the obedience that the faithful owe the Church. Something was clearly wrong with my obedience, but I wasn’t thinking clearly enough to put my finger on it, and every time I asked for advice I got some version of “The superior may be wrong in commanding, but the subject is still right in obeying.”

    What does all this have to do with Fr. Altman? Not much, because, obviously, in his situation he should do what his bishop asks of him! Of course, your article is about obedience to the magisterium, not about daily acts of obedience to an individual who is exercising too much control over you. But I wanted to bring in my story because I hear so much praise of obedience, and so little distinction about what kind of obedience is appropriate, and in what situation, etc. I always wish there was more clarity on the question of when it is right to disobey. The answer, “when you are asked to sin,” is right, but it’s often confusing to a person in a difficult situation, because commands that are harmful do not always require you to do something intrinsically evil. Eating cake is not “morally wrong” per se, but if you’re going to make yourself sick for no good reason and ruin your friendship with your superior, then maybe it is morally wrong. But if you’re a postulant trying to obey her superior, or a wife trying to obey her husband, or any other earnest, befuddled Catholic trying to be a saint, it’s easy to get confused and lose your sense of when it’s appropriate to stand up for yourself. I hope my reflections are helpful to someone.

    1. Mary, thanks for sharing this. You bring up a lot of good points about different kinds of obedience. I’m one of those who are always praising obedience, so it’s helpful to see how my message needs more nuance. But I still think you were right to obey your religious superiors when you did (unless any of these involved violating your conscience) and the line that “The superior may be wrong in commanding, but the subject is still right in obeying” is still true unless (a) the specific command lies outside of his/her jurisdiction and/or (b) it’s morally wrong and/or (c) it violates your conscience (God’s voice in you). Perhaps I’m being overly simplistic here, but I think the difficulty in your previous situation lay in either agreeing to be a part of a community that exercised this kind of totalizing obedience or not getting out when it became apparent that what was being asked of you was too much for your physical and emotional constitution. In other words, if you knew this is what was required of you going in, then obeying was the right choice and leaving was the right choice. You needn’t look back on your experience as a case when obedience wasn’t called for. I hope I’m right here.

  12. What you wrote is spot on. In 20 years as a priest, I’ve always found obedience to be a blessing and never a curse. Prayers for Fr Altman. And hang in their, friend. We need you!

    1. You are correct Father Altman needs prayers from the faithful to continue obeying the Holy Spirit and preach the truth.

      1. He needs prayers to START obeying the Holy Spirit and preaching the truth, because so far he’s preached several things that are not true (such as Jews being to blame for their own Holocaust).

      2. He needs prayers to open his heart and see that we are all on a journey and Christ will gently lead with love to His Truth. I have found that many like Fr Altman and those who hang on his every word are very wounded and have experienced some type of trauma and trying to find their way

  13. Dear Simcha, As someone who has also felt the disenchantment (although, do you think maybe that’s a bad word for it? I feel like Puddleglum and Rilian would think we have it exactly backwards), I wanted to share this with you in the hope that it might be a little source of warmth, today or some day. I am a big fan of JRR Tolkien and an excerpt from one of his letters came to mind . . . in case you don’t you don’t have letters at home (which would be a shame! lol) I link it here for you. Thank you for all the times your blog has been an encouragement to me; I hope this might encourage you. Lord, have mercy on us!


    1. Yes, and I’m sure that all the priests who obeyed their bishops during the priest pedophile scandal are feeling real good about themselves. Or maybe not, if they are truly human.

      James Martin can anything; he can advise Democratic politicians on how to deal with the USCCB, he can be an advocate for LGBTQ folks and we all know the intention there is to get the Church to accept homosexuality. Maybe they will; who knows. But I think it’s coming. Along with leniency with abortion. Too many bishops cozy up to the Democrats and waters muddy. The agendas will become entwined.

      Better catechization would have helped retain members, and the awful way the church handles the pedophile crises didn’t help.

      I haven’t been paying attention to Father Altman; my attention is riveted by the democrats in Congress who want the Eucharist but they do not want to even follow a lot of the Church’s teaching.
      On the bright side, your writing is good, although I don’t often agree. You do pose compelling arguments.

  14. Thank you for addressing this topic. So many faithful Catholics love Father Altman, and I can’t understand why. Then again, I can’t understand why so many faithful Catholics are so opposed to masks and other Covid precautions. My big question is this: I thought that being a faithful Catholic meant being faithful to official Church teachings, as well as to Church authority, which is the magesterium (pope and bishops). Am I wrong about that? Because so many people who I consider to be faithful Catholics feel very free to disobey the bishops, saying that they’re all liberal sex abusers, and many of them also mistrust the pope. Well then, who officially has authority in the Church? I’m really not trying to ask a rhetorical question; I genuinely want to know how people justify this dismissal of the magesterium. Am I wrong in how I’m defining authority?

    Now comes the really embarrassing part where I shamelessly beg you, Simcha, to not leave the Church. Please, please, please hold on tight as you ride through your disenchantment. I can’t even tell you how much Catholics like me need you. We need Catholics who demonstrate that it is possible to be a faithful Catholic who is pro-life and follows Church teaching, yet doesn’t flout Covid precautions and worship at the altar of Trump. Sadly, Catholics like you are few and far between, and your witness gives hope to people like me who might otherwise be tempted to become disenchanted with the Church. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. During this pandemic, I have seen sides of people that I never could have conjured up. It’s people like you who have helped me maintain faith in humanity. I am not exaggerating. You have seriously helped me through this pandemic.

    1. Yes, please hold on because I often feel so alone in this “middle” of trying to simply obey the Church’s teachings without becoming a fanatic on either end.

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