Catholic priest says Democrats are going to hell — and Texas bishop backs him up
BY MIKE STUNSON
FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM
A Wisconsin priest who condemned Catholic Democrats has the support of a Texas bishop.
Father James Altman, pastor of St. James the Less Catholic Church, lashed out at Father James Martin, who participated in the Democratic National Convention. In a 10-minute video posted to YouTube, Altman called the priest a “hyper, confusing spreading heretic” and had harsh words toward Democrats.
“Here is a memo to clueless baptized Catholics out there: You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat. Period,” Altman said in the video posted Aug. 30. “The party platform absolutely is against everything the Catholic Church teaches, so just quit pretending that you’re Catholic and vote Democrat. Repent of your support of that party and its platform or face the fires of hell.”
Tyler, Texas, Bishop Joseph Strickland tweeted his endorsement of Altman’s statement.
“My shame is that it has taken me so long,” Strickland said Sept. 5 of the video. “Thank You Fr. Altman for your COURAGE.”
Strickland’s tweet has garnered more than 3,800 likes and 1,700 retweets as of Sept. 8.
Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden is well-known to be a devout Catholic and grew up practicing the religion at parishes and parochial schools in Pennsylvania and Delaware, according to the National Catholic Reporter.
Martin, a Vatican consultant, said on Twitter last week he overheard priests saying voting for Biden is a “mortal sin.” He rebuked that claim and urged priests to stop using such language.
“It is not a sin to vote for either Mr. Biden or Mr. Trump,” Martin said. “Nor is it a sin to be Democrat or Republican.”
A Pew Research poll last month found white Catholics support President Donald Trump for reelection by a margin of 19 points, but Hispanic Catholics overwhelmingly support Biden, according to the Catholic News Agency.