There is a seemingly new phenomenon happening in the Catholic Church. Good, holy and successful priests with strong leadership skills who are seeing growth in their parish and are gracing their congregations with authentic Catholic teaching are being cancelled. Many of these priests are beloved by their congregation and their removal, on the surface, seems to be politically motivated. Cancel culture has officially come to the Church and it is on full display for all to see.
In the past, many priests went quietly away unsure how to deal with a bishop who failed to assign them to a parish or removed their faculties. In some cases, no real charge was cited for the removal with the possible exception of a nebulous “anger management issue.” Typically, an assigned retreat (a.k.a. a re-education camp) was required for the priest to remain in good standing. Fearing what might happen to them at the retreat many priests just left ministry or have gone into hiding unsure how to fight the machine of the local chancery. Lay people have rallied around these courageous priests and established the Coalition for Cancelled Priests because many of these men find themselves unable to support themselves and without the legal means to fight their removal.
The most recent priest that has been cancelled is Fr. James Altman, the pastor of St. James the Less from Lacrosse, Wisconsin. Fr. Altman came to notoriety before the 2020 presidential election with his powerful and inspiring video entitled You Cannot be a Catholic and a Democrat. Period. To date the video has 1.3 million views on YouTube. In this video Fr. Altman called out the immoral godless politicians who claim to be Catholic. He called out the godless education system. He called out the Democrat party platform which supports abortion and funds Planned Parenthood. He also called out the cowardly bishops who are losing their moral authority and leading the faithful astray. Fr. Altman also grew a huge following during the pandemic when many faithful Catholics were forced to view YouTube masses. Many found his homilies to be truthful, refreshing and courageous as he criticized the forced closure of churches, the elimination of the sacraments, and those within the Church who are not following her teachings.
What is highly concerning for faithful traditional Catholics is that left leaning vocal and outspoken priests like Fr. James Martin SJ who made an appearance at the 2020 Democrat convention, continually spout anti-Catholic rhetoric and support pro-abortion politicians are never ever cancelled. Rather they are lifted up by the hierarchy, receive hand written letters from the Pope and are the darlings of the media. It seems it is okay to be outspoken as long as you parrot the Marxist playbook and gain widespread approval of the woke culture.
We have seen this before when prophets in scripture were persecuted for speaking the Truth. The Truth is always a threat and often met with resistance, even from those who are in positions of power in the Church.