Skip to comments.BISHOP HALTS HOMILIES BY MIDWEST PRIEST WITH STRONG CONTENTIONS, BIG FOLLOWING
Posted on 03/03/2006 8:40:09 AM PST by NYer
We note that the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, for all practical purposes, has silenced a priest named Father Robert Altier. It is an interesting action, at several levels. We find it noteworthy at the same time that, as always, we urge obedience.
Father Altier is a rare one indeed, at 45 a relatively young priest who unabashedly speaks strong stuff -- including prophetic stuff, and including exposes of alleged wrongdoing -- from the pulpit. As it was, he had been relegated, at the Church of St. Agnes, in the city of St. Paul, to the 6:30 a.m. Mass (although the church's website disseminated his homilies).
On weekdays, it has been the six a.m. shift -- a Mass that regularly attracts between 75 and a hundred despite the early hour. Some of his homilies, including a recent one, have been surprisingly open in their criticism of bishops.
He may be a bit strong, and naturally we're not sure of all his views (we all have different ideas), but so popular and unusual have been his homilies that for a while now they have been disseminated over the internet via a website called "A Voice in the Desert." That website has now announced the bishop's closure.
"In obedient compliance with the expressed written request of Most Reverend Harry J. Flynn, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA [left], Father Altiers homilies and spiritual presentations can no longer be published on www.desertvoice.org or broadcast on Relevant Radio," says the website. "Please be assured that this action of the archbishop is not related to any scandal or sexual misconduct on the part of Father Robert Altier. We regret any inconvenience and humbly ask for your prayers."
Father Altier has expressed a number of views that some in mainstream Catholicism consider strong and controversial. We have contacted the diocese for comment.
"They say you can't preach like that because the collection will go down," said Father Altier, who is a third-order Carmelite and who before becoming a priest, at age 28, had attained a degree in computer programming.
But his "tell-it-like-he-sees-it" approach, he says, has not hurt. "Parishioners seem to be fine with it, but I'm not sure other priests like it," he told Spirit Daily a while ago. "Priests are into materialism and worldliness. And if you want the material, you can't have the spiritual. Priests have gotten into a lot of worldliness."
As a local newspaper notes, Altier is a prominent voice in conservative Catholic circles and has spoken out against a sex-abuse prevention program being taught throughout the archdiocese, including to schoolchildren. He says the program is too explicit. Such programs were mandated in all dioceses by U.S. bishops as part of their response to the clergy abuse crisis.
It is Father Alitier's contention that there is a simple and real truth behind scandal. "I got sick and tired of all the lies. I just laid it out. There are three groups that have infiltrated the Church, the Masons, the Communists, and the homosexuals, who came in 1924," he alleges. "85 percent of all the abuse cases are homosexual. There is rank homosexuality. Homosexuals chose the best and brightest and best looking and put them into the priesthood."
As for our times, Father Altier views it as relating to the Gospel reading on cleaning the temple -- but this time with the Blessed Mother, who will "clean it like a woman, not like Jesus did (when He threw out the merchants); she is being more deliberate and every nook and cranny will be cleansed," he says insightfully. "When it is done, it will "not be pretty but it will be immaculate.
"I have been speaking about this since the early 1980s, but after 9/11, I said, 'Now the birth pangs have begun.'"
They are like labor pains that will get closer together and more intense, contends the priest, who spends hours each day in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
Why is he controversial? And why do people -- including many priests -- reject the idea of purification?
"I think because people don't want to deal with sin," he says. "The loss of the sense of sin is one of the great tragedies of our time. They don't want to deal with the idea that God would allow any kind of purification. We focus on His mercy so much that we forget His justice. The devil is resisting the idea of chastisement. If we can explain it scientifically, it denies the spirituality of an event, and what the devil desires most is to remain hidden. Certainly he is going to be involved in some of these things, whether directly or from chaos at spiritual level. He is inspiring chaos at spiritual level.
"And some of it -- wars as well as storms -- we are doing to ourselves. Nature reflects the chaos in the spiritual order. You see that right from the Garden of Eden. There was peace until they sinned, and that continues. The chaos that we see -- the storms and tsunamis -- continue to get more intense and closer together and it is because sin is getting worse. We can't keep killing babies and violating human dignity and think that nothing is going to happen to us. We're doing it to ourselves. It's a natural consequence of what we're doing."
These days, when it comes to Christianity, he says, "we only want the parts we like."
The priest has also harped on the need for deliverance.
"I did an awful lot of deliverance work, and the bishop shut it down," claimed Father Altier. "He said he didn't want any priest in his diocese doing this."
And when Cardinal Mahony tried to silence Mother Angelica.
>>>Does anyone know how Bishop Harry J. Flynn ranks on teaching the truth other than this? I heard that his or a diocese close to his requires NFP for Pre-Cana.
He has a reputation as being relatively conservative, and if a recent homily at a funeral was any indication, he seems to be one. However, he has control issues. If a conservative disagrees with him on anything he goes nuts and attacks. Once he makes a decision, even a plainly bad one, he goes to irrational lengths to pretend it was the right one. The Rainbow Sash thing was an example. Arinze explicitly told him to stop. Most dissenters would come back and just ignore Arinze, but not Flynn. He doesn't want to be seen as a dissenter. So, he had to pretend that Arinze agreed with him, and stated as such publicly. Arinze had to issue a statement that made it clear Flynn lied. Very strange.
I don't trust Flynn or his administration. He was supposedly considered for the Cardinal's post in Boston, and I remember having mixed feelings, half hoping he would be removed from Minneapolis/St. Paul (my diocese) and half fearing the damage he would to the Church in Boston.
I managed to salvage this link to an archive of sermon audio recordings earlier today:
Thanks for the information on Flynn. I'll pray for him.
There's also the Wayback Machine, though I don't know how many are here:
Apparently, the Archbishop doesn't understand the concept of the Wayback Machine aka the Internet Archive.
Read the homilies here for March 2005 to May 2004:
If you want to read older ones, pick a date here:
The Grim Reaper.
Flynn is not doing the Faith any favors by silencing this brave priest; he's trying to save face for himself and other bishops. A bishop with guts (e.g., Bruskewitz) would promote him to Vicar General or something.
That is fabulous!!! Thanks and (((((( hugs ))))))
Fr. Altier apparently riled Flynn last year when he weighed in on the Teresa Kettlekamp controversy in one of his published homilies. Ms. Kettlekamp is the Director of the USCCB's Office of Child and Youth Protection and guess who is the Chairman of the Bishop's ad hoc committee of the same name?? That's right, Archbishop Flynn. Kettlekamp is a former colonel in the Illinois state police, was/is a member of the advisory board of the National Center for Women and Policing, an arm of the pro-abortion Feminist Majority Foundation. It's worth noting that this wonderful committee is designed to protect our children from our very own priests.....but I digress. Kettelkamp fired off a four page memo to all US Dioceses last year about compulsory instruction for children (batted about at great length here on FR) and Altier ripped her and the memo.
Anyhow, Flynn was ticked big time, so the story goes and he fired off a vigorous defense of said lady. However, it would appear that this was not the end of the matter and Fr. Altier has just found out the depths of Flynn's anger.
Bottom line: US bishops will exercise their episcopal authority. But only when they are personally affronted and not to safeguard souls from heresy and heterodoxy.
I think I can vouch for the Communists. On Ash Wednesday, here in Houston, the sermon was on GLOBAL WARMING and how Americans use of oil is going to destroy the Earth. It was a recommendation to give up driving a lot for Lent.
I was appauled. Why are American Catholics so liberal? Besides being inaccurate, it was inappropriate. There are many things that would be better to discuss or to recommend giving up. I never hear sermons condemning abortion or the homosexual lifestyle. The Pope does, but not American churches.
Thank you for the background information on Fr. Altier.
This good priest is being punished for his unwavering resistance to the vile sex education programs the bishops are pushing on our innocent children.
These bishops will have much to answer for at their respective particular judgments.
Harry Flynn used to be my bishop. From the beginning, he has shown a considerable love (or fear) of the homosexual lobbyists. When Human Life International had its international conference in St. Paul, Flynn at first agreed to celebrate the opening Mass, concelebrating with Cardinal Arinze, but the queer lobby got to him, and he withdrew his agreement, leaving other attendee clergy to do the honors. He has never made a single decision that I know of that has not made a gesture of conciliation to queers from all over the state. In Flynn's archdiocese, they are his pets, and priests like Father Altier are treated like redheaded stepchildren.
Thank you for that link. I saved it to my Word files for future enjoyment.
What are his positions on Biblical inerrancy and evolution?
It's a combination of the urban, immigrant experience with hostility to rural Americans and the need to distance themselves from their own illiterate bumpkins of yesteryear (for which Fundamentalist Protestants serve as a convenient scapegoat).