Thursday, May 25, 2006

Archbishop Flynn Denies Request to Restore Fr. Altier's Homilies Online

From the Desert Voice website:

Archbishop Flynn Responds to Our Letter

Archbishop Flynn has responded to our letter in which we asked his permission to restore Father Altier's homilies to the Desert Voice website. In a negative 3-page response dated May 16, 2006, the Archbishop forbids us to publish his letter on this website or to make its contents known in any way.

Below is the letter we sent to him on April 26, 2006.

April 26, 2006

The Most Reverend Harry J. Flynn
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
226 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102

Your Excellency:

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. We operate the DesertVoice website which has published Father Altier’s homilies for the past five years. As Secular Discalced Carmelites, we are called to pray especially for priests and have devoted ourselves to serving the Church through this website apostolate.

In recent weeks, we have received letters from faithful Catholics around the world telling us how much the website has benefited them in their spiritual life. We have enclosed a few excerpts of these for you to read yourself; they are very touching. People continue to ask for a complete restoration of the website and some wonder if it is at least possible for the material which was published prior to March 1, 2006, to once again be posted, as it had already been on the Internet these past five years.

Perhaps it would help in making your decision to know that we ourselves have tended to every aspect of the website, including the recording, transcription, programming, etc. When you made your request to Father Altier, we promptly complied and wanted to show our respect for you by being obedient to your wishes. If you were not pleased with any particular material which appeared on our website, we would be willing to remove it should you indicate that to us.

The organization Catholic Culture reviewed our site and gave it the
Fidelity Green Light Award for excellence in fidelity to Catholic Church teaching. This site review is also enclosed, as well as statistics on the number of visitors we regularly receive. We can feel confident that the material which has been presented on our website is in conformity with Church teaching and has helped thousands of Catholics all over the world to better understand their faith and grow closer to Our Lord, as they themselves say in their many kind letters.

It would be such a joy for us to continue our apostolate in obedience to you and in service of the Catholic people. We thank you for considering the possibility of allowing us to re-establish the website and once again publish the homilies which appeared on You remain in our prayers, and we humbly ask for your blessing and your prayers.

In Our Lady of Mount Carmel,

Ken and Elizabeth Schwab, OCDS

Enclosures: Excerpts, Site Review, and Statistics


Hmmmmmm......would it be disobedient to share the negative 3 page letter with the Holy See?

Fr. Altier Recordings Available at

If you are looking for some of Fr. Altier's teachings, you can find them on, but all are in audio. You can listen on your computer, or download to an MP3 player. If at the library, you can take a set of headphones in with you or ask a librarian if they have any to use.

This site has lots of audio by Fr. Altier covering various topics:

  • Fundamentals of Catechism
  • True Devotion to Jesus Through Mary (DeMontfort)
  • Marriage Preparation
  • Apologetics (aimed at teens)

Silencing the Wrong Priests on the Wrong Topics

These audios give you an idea of the kind of priest that has been silenced in the media.

I can see Archbishop Flynn silencing this priest on a given topic, such as Virtus (even though I agree with Fr. Altier), which is likely what prompted this debacle. However, how can an Archbishop forbid sound Catholic teaching from being aired? Perhaps this is a point that should be raised to the Holy See.

I'll bet that 95% or more of what Desert Voice was wanting to make available to the public had nothing to do with Virtus, and was catechetical in nature. This was honest, forthright catechesis - something very rare in an era when priests were taught to not hurt anyone's self-esteem. Today, more people hear - almost exlusively - about God's love and mercy, which are important, but to the neglect of His justice. And, there is little talk of how we are to love God back by obeying his commandments. Fr. Altier was one of those rare priests who gave the details in a straightforward manner - something that made him very popular among young and old alike.

It's one thing for a bishop to reassign a priest which is fully within his rights. It is also within a bishop's right to direct a priest to not speak on a given controversial subject. But Archbishop Flynn has basically forbid the people from hearing solid Catholic teaching from a priest they trusted to deliver it!