A Catholic Priest’s Video Illustrates A Divided Church

LAKE GENEVA, WI – When it comes to politics, I’m certain about one thing: I will never vote for a candidate who supports the unrestricted killing of pre-born children through abortion. Such a position is appalling and indefensible. It’s even worse, in a sense, when said candidate is supposedly a practicing Catholic.

(For all his flaws, President Trump has been far more supportive of the pro-life movement than the Obama and Clinton administrations were. A Biden administration would be just as bad for the movement.)

There are few truly pro-life Democrats currently in office, and that’s a shame. I would vote for a truly pro-life Democrat over a pro-abortion Republican without hesitation. But, alas, those scenarios have become extremely rare.

On a related note, Father James Altman of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., recently released a video message titled “You cannot be Catholic and a Democrat. Period.,” (embedded above) which has caused quite a stir. Many pro-life and orthodox Catholics have praised Altman for his message; Biden-supporting Catholics, however, are not the least bit pleased.

The bishop of La Crosse, William Callahan, has essentially thrown Altman under the bus, releasing a statement in which he said: “Canonical penalties are not far away if my attempts at fraternal correction [of Altman] do not work.” (Sadly, it seems the only prelate to publicly support Altman thus far is Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas.)


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A good friend of mine, Susan Gorski, sent Callahan the following respectful email:

I prayerfully request your kind support of Father Altman. He was brave enough to do what all priests should do by preaching against intrinsic evil. I support his defense of Catholic morals.

Perhaps there is reason to fear reprisals. However, as our Beloved Lord Jesus, Himself, stated: the world hated Me and they will hate you because of Me. We must do, even though it costs us, what is right in the sight of God. He will not hold us blameless.

With trust in the Divine Mercy, I keep you and all clergy in my prayers and know that God will guide you in this situation. Please, in your kindness, remember me in your prayers as well.

I asked two notable priests for comment on the Altman situation.

Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, wrote in an email (edited):

The Democrat Party hates America. Their convention made it so clear how much they despise this country that it makes one wonder how they can even ask to lead it. Moreover, they embrace socialism, religious oppression, and the holocaust of abortion. Supporting their agenda is no better than supporting the Nazi Party….

And if Father Altman seems to express some anger in his comments, it’s because countless members of the faithful are angry, too. They are angry that people like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi want the political benefits of being known as Catholics, but throw the teachings out the window – teachings which so many of us make sacrifices to live out each day.

They are also angry at a lack of leadership within the Church. They are angry that the Church hierarchy is far swifter to admonish priests who speak out against Biden and Pelosi than they are to admonish Biden and Pelosi.

Father Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International, wrote in an email (edited):

Faithful Catholics simply are tired of silence, hypocrisy, compromise and toleration. They want their pastors to defend them from the onslaught, especially from those who present themselves for public leadership, claiming to be Catholics in good standing, but are wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.

Instead, as did the prophets of old, we are called to confront the world, helping the deaf to hear and the blind to see. This means we must let our faith shine everywhere, radiating the love of Jesus and transforming the world around us.

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