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Fr. James Altman in his Aug. 30, 2020 video 'You cannot be Catholic & a Democrat. Period.'Alpha News MN / Youtube

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin, September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― The priest who warned Catholics that they could go to hell for supporting the Democratic Party has doubled down by telling his detractors that they’ll face the saints one day. 

“Anyone can, however erroneously, complain about my manner, tone, or ‘divisiveness’ in the video, but good luck,” Father James Altman said in a new video released yesterday morning. 

“Good luck when you get to the gates of heaven because Cardinal St. John Henry Newman is going to be there. Pope St. Pius X is going to be there. Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen is going to be there. They’ll be standing at the gates.”

The priest had quoted these three saints earlier in his new sermon. Altman says his detractors will also find Cardinal Robert Sarah and Pope Benedict XVI, whom the priest referenced in his first video, behind them or there first. Either way, Altman promises his critics will be schooled. 

“You’ll get crushed in a sandwich of truth,” he said. 

Entitled “Liberal Catholics are Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing,” Altman’s short video has already been viewed over 65,000 times. His first video with Minnesota-based Alpha News, “You Cannot Be a Democrat & a Catholic. Period.” has been seen more than 825,000 times. 

In his new homily, Altman took on left-leaning Catholics by reading Pope St. Pius X’s warning to his priests: 

Let priests take care not to accept from the liberal any ideas which, under the mask of good, pretend to reconcile justice with iniquity. Liberal Catholics are wolves in sheep’s clothing. The priest must unveil to the people their perfidious plot, their iniquitous design. You will be called papist, clerical, retrograde, intolerant, but pay no heed to the derision and mockery of the wicked. Have courage; you must never yield, nor is there any need to yield. You must go into the attack whole-heartedly, not in secret but in public, not behind barred doors, but in the open, in the view of all.

Altman’s first video, which explained why faithful Catholic cannot vote for the Democratic Party, attracted thanks and praise from Catholics all over the world, the priest revealed in his follow-up address. 

“It was so beautiful: It was like opening up the proverbial floodgates,” he said. 

“I even have friends in Borneo now.” 

Altman received testimonies from Catholics saying his words had confirmed them in their faith or brought them back to the faith. They were, he said, “starving for someone to finally speak up and speak the truth.” 

The priest called his August 30 homily, which took the Democrats to task for their support for abortion extremism, a “no brainer” and merely a “presentation of faith and morals” that is “the purview of Holy Mother Church.” He read Cardinal St. John Henry Newman’s statement that “the great tragedy of the Church is the ignorance of the laity” and remarked that the situation has gotten worse. Meanwhile, he often hears that the laity are poorly catechized, he said, but then “if someone even tries ― ! Well, as we’ve seen, all hell breaks loose.” 

Altman was referring to the controversy that has been raging since his first video appeared, which he connected with the current assault on free speech called “cancel culture.” After Altman’s first video, he revealed that his ordinary,  La Crosse Bishop William P. Callahan, had asked him to stop live-streaming Masses. The priest also revealed that he had received “vile and despicable” comments, letters, emails, and phone calls after Fr. James Martin urged his followers to complain.  

Callahan also said Altman may face “canonical penalties.”

In Altman’s view, leftists have proved Archbishop Charles Chaput’s avowal that “evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant. Then it seeks to silence the good.” The current rioting, arson, and “cancel culture” are attempts to impose an “oppressive and socialist attitude” through bullying, Altman believes.

“We’re witnessing it now in the opposition to the video,” Altman said.

Altman argued that the video is not “divisive” and that the division is real. What his video does, he believes, is mention the “elephant” in the middle of the room. Moreover, he has not only the right, thanks to the American Constitution, but the duty to speak to moral issues in the public sphere. 

“Trey Trainor, head of the FEC (Federal Election Commission), said recently that pastors have a duty to properly form the conscience of their families,” Altman said. 

“That’s what I was doing. I hope that’s what everybody would do.”

Moreover, the FEC chief said that any church could endorse a specific candidate or a specific political party, the priest noted. 

“So we can and should present moral theology in the context of the public sphere,” he concluded, then quoting Archbishop Sheen’s famous maxim that “A religion that does not interfere with the secular order will soon discover that the secular order will not refrain from interfering with it.”

Altman continued to cite Sheen, who used robust language, including “hatred” for sin, e.g. “Charity is the infusion of the spirit of God which makes us love the beautiful and hate the morally ugly.” 

The priest also pointed out that priests should not lead people to presume upon God’s forgiveness by quoting Cardinal Robert Sarah’s warning: “Do not deceive people with the word of mercy because God forgives sins only if we repent of them.”

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas first expressed his support for the fiery homilist on September 5. 

“As the Bishop of Tyler I endorse Fr. Altman’s statement in this video,” Strickland tweeted regarding the controversial August 30 address. 

“My shame is that it has taken me so long. Thank you Fr Altman for your COURAGE. If you love Jesus & His Church & this nation … please HEED THIS MESSAGE.”

Hundreds of other Catholics also made a public show of support for Altman when they gathered for a Rosary rally in La Crosse on September 15. One participant called the priest a modern-day St. John the Baptist. 

Contact information for respectful communication:

Bishop William P. Callahan
Diocese of La Crosse
3710 East Avenue South
P.O. Box 4004
La Crosse, WI   54602-4004
Tel: (608)788-7700 

Debbie Brannon
Assistant to Bishop Callahan
[email protected]