Mel Gibson steps in to support “canceled” priests like Fr. James Altman

In a recent video appearance, Hollywood actor Mel Gibson espoused anti-Vatican II views and endorsed a new organization for so-called “canceled” priests whose bishops removed them from office for defying church authorities or expressed controversial views.

Gibson, also a producer and director who is reportedly filming a sequel to his 2004 blockbuster “The Passion of the Christ”, called the bishops “mercenaries” and said he agreed with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a former Vatican ambassador to the United States who took to writing conspiratorial missives alleging that a counterfeit parallel church was created after Vatican Council II to eclipse the true church.

“And my question is, who is hiring [the bishops]? I don’t think it’s Jesus. Is this [Pope] Francis? Who is recruiting François? Is this the Pachamama? ”Gibson said at one point in the rambling five-minute video, where he rarely looks at the camera while cursing the post-conciliar church.

“There was nothing wrong” with the Catholic Church before the Vatican II reforms, Gibson said, adding, “It didn’t need to be fixed. It was going pretty well.”

Gibson’s remote endorsement provided some star power for a September 10 rally that the Coalition for Canceled Priests hosted in Lincoln Park in Chicago. The event, billed as “a rally and a rosary of reparation,” featured right-wing Catholic radio hosts David Gray and Jason Jones as guest speakers.

The other key figure at the event was Fr. James Altman, the rogue priest of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, whose bishop issued a decree in early July removing him from parish ministry and restricting his priestly faculties due to his style of division.

Altman, who has also been ordered to meet with his diocesan vicar for the clergy on a monthly basis and take a month-long retreat for spiritual renewal, has shown his intention to continue to challenge his bishop. While speaking at the rally, he tore up a piece of paper.

“Here’s what you can do with your executive order,” Altman said. “Toilet paper is worth more than your decree.”

The Coalition for Canceled Priests was formed on June 15, 2021 in Illinois. Bro. John Lovell, a priest whose ministry has been restricted by the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois, is identified as the group’s co-founder.

Several dozen people, many holding signs, attended the September 10 rally. They clapped loudly as Altman called the bishops “mitered monsters” and called on them to “repent” for their support for the coronavirus vaccines.

Altman also made a thinly veiled anti-gay insult targeting the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; invoked those who hid Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis as he opposed so-called blind obedience to bishops; and accused Pope Francis of betraying Jesus as Judas.

“He is no longer the Vicar of Christ. He has rejected that title,” said Altman, who donated $ 100,000 to the Coalition for Canceled Priests in late July.

In his video, Gibson said he would also “throw something in the hat” to show his support, adding that he personally knew “many priests who have been canceled.”

“I am very sorry for this. It is a really serious injustice, and a kind of white martyrdom really, and it is nothing new,” Gibson said, adding that the alleged persecution of faithful priests is “a symptom really. deep that afflicts the church, and it did not happen overnight. “

“The Passion of Christ” was a box office success, generating more than $ 600 million worldwide, but was not without controversy, as the portrayal of Jews in the film and Gibson’s connection to the Straightforward Catholic traditionalism raised concerns about the anti-Semitic themes in the film. These criticisms took on new significance when Gibson made blatant anti-Semitic statements during a 2006 impaired driving arrest in Malibu, California.

Over the past year, various published reports have indicated that Gibson is working on a sequel to “The Passion of Christ” that may bring back some of the original cast, including actor Jim Caviezel as Jesus.

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