Another plain-talking priest is being thrown under the bus for an outspoken homily.
In an official statement Tuesday, Abp. Bernard A. Hebda of the St. Paul and Minneapolis diocese chastised Fr. Robert Altier for questioning the COVID-19 narrative. In his Sept. 5 sermon, “Coronavirus: The Truth Revealed,” Fr. Altier, parochial vicar of the Church of St. Raphael in Crystal, Minnesota, suggested people are being lied to about the pandemic.
“None of our priests or bishops … is an expert in public health, infectious disease, epidemiology or immunology,” Hebda wrote, quashing the priest’s ability to speak about the pandemic.
Hebda claimed the sermon was at odds with Pope Francis’ exhortation that sermons be “a consoling encounter with God’s word, a constant source of renewal and growth” (Evangelii Gaudium, § 135).”
“The use of a homily to present medical or scientific speculation does not serve that noble purpose and could be seen as an abuse of the cleric’s position of authority to address an issue unrelated to the liturgical celebration,” Hebda argued.
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