Bishop Who Suspended Faculties of Fr. James Altman Has Yet to Penalize Priest Who Used Grindr to Meet Up with Homosexuals
A Catholic bishop who disciplined one of his priests for lambasting the Democratic Party and airing his skepticism about the COVID vaccine has not yet disciplined another priest who ostensibly used a gay “hook-up” app for years.
After The Pillar reported that Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill had used Grindr to meet up with men at homosexual-friendly bars since 2018, Burrill subsequently resigned from his position at the USCCB. His bishop, William Callahan, has only responded to the scandal thus far with a letter to his diocesan priests. In it Bishop Callahan claims that The Pillar’s report does not establish “facts in truth” about Burrill’s behavior and asks the priests to pray for him.
A digital copy of the letter, tweeted by Christine Niles of Church Militant, reads as follows:
My dear Brothers:
May the Lord give you peace.
Sadly, I share news from Archbishop Gomez concerning the resignation of our brother, Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill from his position at the USCCB, which was made public this morning. The media reports establish no facts in truth about Jeff’s behavior either innocent or not. Nevertheless, we have learned throughout the years of dealing with cases of moral crisis, to pursue and investigate all misconduct allegations and promote the causes of justice and morality for all.
I am prayerful and eager to hear the truth in all of this, as I am sure we all are. In the meantime, brothers, let us pray for and support one another. In this case, please pray for Msgr. Burrill. Thank you and God be with you.
In the loving Hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Bishop of La Crosse
Bishop Callahan is the same bishop who removed Fr. James Altman from his pastorship of St. James the Less parish and temporarily suspended his priestly faculties in May because he deemed him “ineffective and divisive.”
Leading up to the 2020 election, Fr. Altman became a favorite of conservatives and Catholics nationwide for his fiery opposition to the Democratic Party, even going so far as to say that one cannot simultaneously be a Democrat and a faithful Catholic. He also allowed his parishioners to forgo masks when the Diocese of La Crosse still mandated them in all parishes.
Although Msgr. Burrill could end up facing discipline following investigation, Bishop Callahan’s apparent foot-dragging in the wake of The Pillar’s report represents potential cause for concern, namely that he might let Burrill off the hook.
“Msgr. Burrill’s resignation from his senior post at the USCCB means that, in effect, the USCCB is finished with him. Whatever he did or did not do, the most serious penalty available—dismissal—has already been effected by the resignation,” writes Fr. Raymond de Souza of National Catholic Register. “It is Msgr. Burrill’s ordinary, Bishop William Callahan of Lacrosse, Wisconsin, who will have to decide now what investigation and possible penalties, if any, are administered.”
If his investigative findings are consonant with The Pillar’s report, it would be nothing short of outrageous for Bishop Callahan to fail to administer penalties similar to the ones he gave Fr. Altman, who has done nothing other than employ politically incorrect language when speaking out on crucial issues facing contemporary Catholics.