With the news that conservative priest Fr. James Altman has been asked by his bishop to resign, one is faced with the contrast between Fr. James Altman and another controversial priest, Fr. James Martin, SJ.
Both priests have somewhat of a prophetic voice in the Church—Fr. Altman from the conservative side and Fr. Martin from the liberal. Fr. Altman castigates Catholics who voted for Joe Biden. Fr. Martin openly supported Biden. As such, the two Fr. Jameses are poster boys for the two Catholic Churches in America today. Fr. Altman for the traditional, orthodox, strict version of Catholicism; Fr. Martin for the accommodating, relativistic, and subjective version of Catholicism. Fr. Altman: doctrinal. Fr. Martin: pastoral. Fr. Altman: Rational. Fr. Martin: Sentimental.
It is interesting that both priests see themselves as standing up for the true faith and see themselves as speaking truth to power. Fr. Martin campaigns against institutional homophobia and laments the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. Fr. Altman campaigns against a Catholic hierarchy that is in bed with the abortion-loving Democratic Party.
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