A fellow Wisconsin priest offered a powerful response to Bishop William Patrick Callahan’s decision to remove Fr. James Altman from his parish and strip him of his priestly faculties.
Fr. Richard Heilman of St. Mary of Pine Bluff Catholic Church in Wisconsin said Callahan did this to “appease the tyrants.”
“We’re living in a very, very tumultuous time,” said Heilman, who has hope because “evil is being drawn out of darkness, its hand is being forced.”
“Why? So that more and more people understand that this evil is real,” he said.
Heilman explained that he thinks there are two types of bishops: those who try to appease and those who are afraid to speak up.
“It’s hard to find any bishops that don’t fall into one of those categories right now. So you have a Fr. Altman who is shining a bright light on all of this, and it’s almost like you can see the panic … and you see people joining ranks with those who are persecuting these people,” Heilman said.
Altman is not being “disobedient” like he’s accused of, Heilman noted, but is rather acting much like Jesus did.
“Who am I talking about? I’m talking about John the Baptist, Jesus Christ. And other people who stood up to the hierarchy of their time and said ‘no, you can’t do this.’”
People who want to “hold on to their worldly sins” find Altman divisive and become upset when he speaks out against the Catholic hierarchy, Heilman said.
People will say that Altman is “in it for himself, and it’s cult of personality,” Heilman added.
“Say the same thing about Jesus then … [Altman’s] an inspiration for all of us.”
Heilman also called out the president for supporting abortion and transgender rights, accusing him of trying to create a “new normal.”