A red-herring is defined as “something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important question.” In this blog post, I will use that term to describe the false-pretext upon which good bishops and good priests are removed from ministry. A “canceled priest” or a “canceled bishop” is one who is removed for unjust reasons, never for being a real-criminal. Recently, at the Conference for the Coalition of Canceled Priests, Brian McCall gave a phenomenal talk on the definition of a canceled priest and the limits of obedience according to St. Thomas Aquinas.
Every canceled-priest has a real-reason and a fake-reason why he is on the shelf. For example, Fr. Altman told me he was canceled because he “brought up the dogmatic truth that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit and you do not have to be anyone’s guinea pig or lab rat by taking the jab.” (It actually wasn’t his talk against “Democratic Catholics,” as most people think.) But the fake-reason he got canceled was being “divisive and ineffective,” according to his bishop. Such is the red-herring upon which he was hung. (But Fr. Altman has never been officially suspended, only labeled by his diocese as having “restricted ministry.”)
This week alone, there is more evidence of the vaccinated experiencing skyrocketing cancer rates and cardiac issues. Thus, for saving lives, you can’t very well call Fr. Altman a bad priest. Instead, he is “divisive” and “mean in his tone.”
You may remember there was a similar case on the case regarding Bishop Daniel Fernández Torres of Puerto Rico (see top left photo.) In 2021, Bp. Torres told his faithful to follow their conscience in regards to the vaccine: “The first is that as a general rule vaccination should be voluntary and the second is that there may be those who, for reasons of conscience, reject the use of certain vaccines.” Then, the Vatican removed Bp. Torres. The bishop later explained, “I was informed that I had committed no crime but that I supposedly had not been obedient to the pope nor had I been in sufficient communion with my brother bishops of Puerto Rico.”
These are the two other red-herrings upon which good priests and bishops are suspended: Being “disobedient” or breaking “union.”
There is rarely an accusation against an objective matter of the Divine Law or failure to remain in fraternal charity for objective reasons. The pretext for sinking conservative priests is always subjective disobedience or subjective lack-of-fraternity. Or, if there are objective reasons, they are usually blown out of proportion.
Such may be the case with Bishop Strickland (see top right photo.) He just had an “apostolic visitation” from two US liberal bishops at the behest of the Vatican. Remember that on 12 May 2023, Bishop Strickland tweeted: “I believe Pope Francis is the Pope, but it is time for me to say that I reject his program of undermining the Deposit of the Faith.” After that, he dared to march in Los Angeles against the LA Dodgers’ support of a blasphemous group of filthy, fat men dressed up in mockery of Catholic nuns, naming themselves the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.” To be clear, Bishop Strickland is “guilty” of defending the “Deposit of the Faith” and defending Catholic women religious. But you can’t very well remove a bishop for those two things. Thus, his so-called superiors need to find a fake reason.
The Pillar gives a clue on this:
One priest [of Tyler, TX] interviewed said the visitation’s questions focused on Strickland’s administrative leadership in the diocese, rather than on his outsized social media personality “It was not even primarily about his ‘rants’ about Pope Francis,” said the priest, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record. “The questions really focused on years of governance issues, which have had us priests concerned. We had two finance officers removed before their five year terms were expired, and that’s not typical at all.”
To be sure, at the time of this publication, Bp. Strickland has not been removed as the bishop of Tyler, Texas. But I believe that if Bishop Strickland is removed, the fake reason will be some vague accusation against his administration or finances. Of course, that would still hang him out as a white-martyr for many conservative Americans to follow, which could be disadvantageous to the liberals’ strategy at the top. On the other hand, the Vatican just might want to start an ecclesiastic civil-war in the United States, so that he can label anyone even mildly-orthodox (not just traditionalists) as “schismatics” or “disobedient.”
We will probably know his infernal strategy by the end of this summer, 2023.