Father Altier move confirmed

Father Altier move confirmed

Thanks to everyone who emailed and commented; we now have a better idea of what’s going on with Father Robert Altier of Minneapolis, the very popular orthodox priest who was ordered not to make his homilies available online anymore or to engage in radio ministry. It was announced at Mass at his parish a couple of days ago that Altier is being removed from St. Agnes and will be reassigned as a nursing home chaplain in a suburb of Minneapolis (not outside the archdiocese as was initially reported.)

Hmmm, exiled to a chaplaincy of an out-of-the-way medical facility. That sounds familiar. Hmm, an orthodox priest transferred out of a thriving parish where people flock to hear him preach and out into the hinterlands of the diocese. That sounds familiar too.

As someone notes in the thread below, heterodox priests almost never get disciplined, never mind removed from their posts. The travesty that is St. Joan of Arc parish in the same archdiocese goes on and on, one pastor being allowed to step down and move on while the new pastor does nothing to stop the heresy. (On the parish’s web site right now: “Theologian and author Matthew Fox has a special relationship with the theology of St. Joan of Arc.” No kidding.) Yet someone like Altier, who’s crime apparently is that he vocally disagreed with the implementation of Talking about Touching in the archdiocese gets the full heavy hammer of discipline thrown at him.

Is someone holding something over Archbishop Flynn?

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
7 comments
  • Chris,

    I was trying to respond to your comment, but somehow it was lost in cyberspace.  Anyway, it looks like Mitchell already addressed what I was going to pass along (which I may have first read on his blog, though I’m not sure).

    Anyway, I came across an article reprinted in a St. Agnes bulletin back in March on Fr. Kasel.  Sounds like a fine young priest.  Here’s a link to that bulletin.  The article is on page 3.

    http://www.stagnes.net/media/bulletins/2006/bulletin2006-03-19.pdf

  • I can understand the frustration with far too many of our bishops, but some of the criticism regarding Fr. Altier’s re-assignment is confusing.

    From a Christian standpoint, what is so awful about a 45 year old priest being assigned to a nursing home? I am certain many within and without the nursing home will benefit from his good works.

    Peace

  • man with black hat: Status Quo Suprema Lex

    “Now some people want to know, why do the good guys get a raw deal, while nut cases get to run around loose? Many of the pundits in the Catholic blogosphere can’t seem to figure this out, but it’s not that hard, really.

    “In both cases, it’s…”

  • Dom et al.,

    I have not posted here in a LONNNNNGGGG time, however, as some may remember, I am a close friend to Msgr. Schuler, Fr. Altier, and the parish of St. Agnes.

    I can speak to a couple of the things that have been posited here.

    I’ll repeat that I don’t expect anything dramatic to change at the parish (Latin Mass will continue, as the priest rumored to be the new pastor is no stranger to St. Agnes).  The one area of concern is regarding the school and what their policy will be regarding TAT.  Will that change?  I don’t know, and I think speculation is premature.

    Knowing that Fr. John Ubel is coming to the parish, I can tell you that the ceremonies won’t change immediately.  I don’t think that you’ll see him in the beautiful Roman vestments, as he doesn’t like them, get ready for the Gothic solemn sets everyone, but the view clear that the “external life” of the parish will remain the same, at least as long as Msgr. Schuler is residing in the parish.

    As far as VIRTUS/TAT, I would posit that St. Agnes will slowly integrate it.  Fr. Ubel is a “company man” and has been positioning himself for years for this parish.  It is unfortunate, because I agree with Dom, Fr. Altier, Catholic Parents Online and any other faithful Catholic who recognizes that this is an incorrect view to hold from a Catholic perspective.

    Following up on your question about Fr. Welzbacher’s reassignment.  Without knowing exactly what happened, I would say that it’s extremely plausible that he requested the reassignment.  He’s nearly 80 years old, and while he appears to be in pretty vital health I’ve been told that he has had some health problems recently.

    It has nothing to do with his health.  He simply wants out.  Fr. Welzbacher is not one to embrace controversy.  He is admittedly a good friend of the Archbishop and has asked for a reassignment to St. John’s after a 4 month sabbatical to Israel, which will begin after Corpus Christi.

    Finally, in speaking with Fr. Altier directly, I can tell anyone who is reading this, Fr. Altier is accepting this as a matter of obedience.  He will make the best of this.  He sees it as God’s will and he will find the grace necessary to fulfill his role.

    Be outraged, be upset, but PRAY FOR FR. ALTIER.  He needs it and he needs the knowledge that no matter what he does or where he is assigned that the faithful will pray and continue to support him.  That is what a priest needs.  This is not the end, but rather it is a continuation of the journey.  I would be remiss to say that with the “overabundance” of time, we should see something amazing coming from either the mouth or the pen of Fr. Robert Altier in the next year or so…..God Bless you Fr. Altier, you have my support and my prayers.

  • Here is an important question…..since we’ve been talking about the pastoral needs of St. Agnes…..

    Just what is the pastoral expericence of Fr. John Ubel?  I think that the answer to this one (which is quite telling) makes the move of Fr. Altier even more quizzical.

    Fr. Ubel has never been a pastor.  Fr. Ubel has been a teacher, a student and an interim rector of the Major Seminary.

  • Dear Carrie,

    I guess you were speaking about me.

    When you spoke about a “Young Man from India”.

    “Meanwhile a young man emailed me from as far away as India who had been a seminarian here in America before getting discouraged, giving up, and going home.  He treasures Fr. Altier’s homilies and is watching developments closely.  Without being silenced, would we all know who Fr. Altier is?  Probably not.  But thanks to being silenced we are all aware of his story.

    In this new assignment, it would seem that Fr. Altier would have more time to devote to a wider ministry if he will be permitted to do so. 
    Let’s hope that he will be.  His homilies are still available on the web”.

    It is impossible to describe what the awesome homilies of Father Altier have done for me.

    It was simply a stupendous, awesome, Miracle that he worked in my life after my Faith was destroyed by New Age Trappist Monks as well as by Immoral Franciscan Friars from 1999-2001 when I was in formation at these two Religious Orders.

    Some writers on this thread have stated that we should not be outraged or upset at his transfer to a distant nursing home in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis.

    I respectfully disagree simply because, he is being punished and exiled simply for speaking the truth regrading the “Talking about Touching” Program.

    Yet Archbishop Flynn takes no action against Ultra-Liberal Priests in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis, not only this he invites Matthew Fox—who was stripped of the Priesthood by the Vatican to speak at Saint Joan of Arc last week.

    Archbishop Flynn in my opinion needs to be replaced asap by the Vatican, lest the Catholic Faithful lose their faith completely in the Church.

    I pray and hope that the Vatican is watching all these developments in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis.

    This wreaks of a Double Standard and this is nothing but “Gross Injustice” of the worst type I have ever come across in the Catholic Church in the United States.

    This situation of Father Altier is not very different from what I faced in a Trappist Moinastery as well as Franciscan Friary respectively.

    Whenever I spoke to the Abbot or to anyone in charge about Homosexuality in the Monastery or Friary they were extremely indifferent to my pleas and to whatever I said.

    I had no option but to leave. If I were to tell you all about my experiences in these two Religious Orders, I am quite sure all of you would die of shock.

    I earnestly now, pray for “True Shepherds” in the Catholic Church.

  • Dear Carrie,

    Thanks for your message.

    My apologies for some “typos” in that message to you.

    I love this statement of yours “Remember that God is watching, and He will have the final word”.

    I totally agree with you. I only pray that God will take action asap where and when it is needed.

    On another note, apart from Father Altier’s Homilies which brought me back to the Catholic Faith when I was on the verge of leaving as a result of these horrendous experiences in two religious orders—I have discovered yet another site that has “Orthodox and Solid Homilies” from Canada.

    It is run by a Holy and Conservative French Canadian Priest who runs the following site.

    It is called http://www.catholicdoors.com

    Check out his inspiring Homily for “Ascension Sunday” at the following Link.

    http://www.catholicdoors.com/homilies/2006/060528.htm

    Let us pray for the restoration of Father Altier’s various ministeries but also pray for him as he must be feeling right now as he has been feeling from Ash Wednesday that he is in “The Desert” in more ways than one.

    BTW, I agree with your other comments too which need to be taken to prayer.

    In Christ,

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