“Canon law indicates that before penalties are imposed, we need to ensure that fraternal correction, rebuke or other means of pastoral solicitude will not be sufficient to repair the scandal,” Bishop Callahan said, in reference to canon 1341 of the Church’s Code of Canon Law.
Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, however, endorsed Fr. Altman’s video in a Sept. 5 tweet. On Monday, he tweeted his continued support for Fr. Altman.
“Fr James Altman is in trouble for speaking the truth. I originally supported him when he spoke bold truth during the election. I continue to support him for speaking the truth in Jesus Christ. He inspires many to keep the faith during these dark days. Let us pray for him,” Bishop Strickland stated.
In a homily posted online on July 2, 2020, Fr. Altman criticized use of the terms “systemic racism” and “white privilege” as “left-wing media buzzwords,” and claimed that the “disproportionate incarceration” of Black men today is due to the “disproportionate amount of crime committed by Blacks.” While calling lynchings “capital punishment, carried out by a mob, never a good thing,” he said that top "causes" of lynchings were rape and homicide.
He said that 360,000 “white men” died fighting in the Union army during the Civil War in an effort to end slavery, while not citing that nearly 40,000 Black Union soldiers died during the war.
According to the Wisconsin Examiner, Fr. Altman appeared on the podcast “U.S. Grace Force” in January where he referred to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol as a “false flag.”
In the podcast, he appeared to blame the killing of Breonna Taylor on her “hanging around” bad company. Taylor was a 26 year-old Black woman who was killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky on March 13, 2020, during a raid of her apartment. Taylor was shot five times by police, after her boyfriend – present with her – initially fired at officers who had breached the apartment door to execute an arrest warrant.
A grand jury in September indicted one of the officers involved with three counts of “wanton endangerment,” for firing three shots into and near Taylor’s apartment.
“They fired all of those police that were involved in that,” Altman said, as reported by the Wisconsin Examiner. “Listen, nobody’s got the guts to say, ‘Hey sweetheart, you were hanging around a bad guy to begin with, that’s why the police were coming over there.’ And now you kick him out, you’ve got another bad guy in there who’s shooting back at the police. Okay, you brought that on yourself.”
In an interview with Cream City Catholic, posted online April 6, 2021 under the title “God damns communism and feminism,” Fr. Altman used offensive feminine stereotypes to explain why women cannot be ordained priests.
“Women can’t preach, because we need the truth when listening to what matters for eternal salvation. We don’t need you to say ‘does my dress make me look fat,’ as the joke goes,” he said. He went on to criticize “the ambiguity” of women preaching, “and it’s like they [women] expect you to read their minds.”
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In that same interview, Fr. Altman called President Joe Biden “kind of demented.”
In a radio interview that aired March 24 on The Station of the Cross program “The Simple Truth,” Fr. Altman referred to supporters of abortion as “vermin baby-killers.”
He claimed that abortions were common in the Jewish community in Warsaw, Poland before World War II. He implied that the eventual destruction of the city – which included mass deportations of the city’s Jewish population to Nazi concentration camps as part of the Holocaust – was punishment for abortion.
“[St.] Faustina warned Warsaw. The Jews in Warsaw, the doctors there, were having people coming in from all over – it was all for money – from Europe to have abortions. And she warned them, you see that in her diary, she says ‘listen, you guys, knock that stuff off.’ And then of course, they didn’t, and then in World War II, Warsaw was leveled,” he said.
The parish bulletin at St. James the Less has also called COVID-19 vaccines “experimental” and warned parishioners not to be a “guinea pig.”
A message to parishioners, published in the parish bulletin on April 18 and reported by Madison.com on April 26, called each of the three COVID-19 vaccines used in the United States “experimental” and “NOT a vaccine.”