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LA CROSSE, Wis. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Wisconsin priest is doubling down on his condemnation of self-identified Catholic Democrats.
Father James Altman of the diocese of La Crosse has issued another video homily excoriating those who would obfuscate the truth out of cowardice, greed or lack of faith.
Released on YouTube Sunday, the video, titled "Liberal Catholics are Wolves in Sheep's Clothing," has, as of this writing, garnered more than 75,000 views.
In less than 10 minutes, Altman makes the case that people are pining for truth, and that clergy have an obligation to speak out on moral issues — even when wrapped up in the political arena:
The [last] video was not divisive. The division already is real. The video was honestly bringing that elephant into the room, bringing it out into the open. Can we do that? Can we speak to moral issues in the public sphere? ... Not only can we, as promised by our Constitution, and is explicitly supported by President Trump, we must. We must.
Altman, still listed as active at St. James the Less Church in La Crosse, Wis., acknowledged with surprise and delight the countless grateful responses he received from across the globe, elated that someone is going against the tide of politically correct avoidance of the truth. "I even have friends in Borneo now," Altman said with a smile.
The courageous priest takes issue with the popular notion that clergy cannot speak on moral issues in the public sphere. Making reference to the exclusive interview Church Militant conducted last week with Trey Trainor, head of the Federal Election Committee (FEC), Altman doubled down on the duty priests and bishops have in making their voices heard.
"For the record, Trey Trainor, head of the FEC, said recently that pastors have a duty to properly form the consciences of their dear families. That's what I was doing," Altman contested. In his prior video produced by Alpha News, Altman declared one cannot be a good Catholic and a Democrat.
Also mentioned in the interview with Trainor was the 2017 executive order signed by President Trump that promotes free speech and religious liberty. It directs the IRS "not take any adverse action against any individual, house of worship or other religious organization" that endorses policies or candidates for public office. "We are giving churches their voices back," the president said at the signing ceremony at the rose garden.
Altman quoted St. John Henry Newman of over a hundred years ago on the crisis in the Church: "The great tragedy in the Catholic Church is the ignorance of the laity." After mentioning it is much worse today, largely due to dreadful catechesis, Altman says, "Of course when someone tries, as we've seen, all hell breaks loose," referring to the leftist reaction to his homilies and videos.
As hell breaks loose, the eloquent priest takes on the prevalent sin of keeping silent in the midst of growing evil. He quotes Abp. Charles Chaput: "Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant. Then it seeks to silence the good."
Along with his bishop — William Callahan of La Crosse, who threatened him with canonical penalties should he continue creating videos for public consumption — Altman said that secular authorities, including the IRS, have also tried to silence him. "Thank you to the left-wing bullies, the cancel culture, for just bringing yourselves into the light of day," he replied.
The priest continued to explain the meaning of charity and the erroneous understanding many have of it today. "Real love involves hatred," he said. If we do not hate evil we are not being charitable. We cannot allow fear of offending people obstruct our duty to speak the truth unambiguously for the sake of saving souls, he explained.
As for the popular misunderstanding of mercy, Altman quotes Cdl. Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments: "Do not deceive people with the word of mercy because God forgives sins only if we repent of them."
"Father James Altman has become a social media phenomenon and is now a main stream media story," Bp. Callahan attested. "The amount of calls and emails we are receiving at the Diocesan offices show how divisive he is."
Among its 2,300 YouTube comments as of this writing, it's easy to see the new viral video is greatly appreciated by the faithful. It seems to be producing much spiritual fruit.
Here are a few typical examples of that spiritual fruit from the comment section:
No public word has come out yet on what Callahan plans to do now that Altman has created another video.
After his initial video, Altman told a local news station he doesn't fear superiors sidelining him — a move he says would give him more time to write and make more videos.