Controversial La Crosse priest compares the left to Nazis in new video

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)– A controversial La Crosse priest who said you can’t be a Catholic and a Democrat is defending his comments in a new video. This time, Father James Altman doubled down on these views while also comparing the people who disagreed with him to Nazis.

Father James Altman of St. James the Less in La Crosse discussed the original video in a virtual Q&A with Alpha News MN. In a video published by the far-right media outlet on Aug. 30, Fr. Altman said Catholics should “repent of [their] support of [the Democratic] Party and its platform or face the fires of hell.”

“All of a sudden, a lot of people saw it,” said Altman, referring to how quickly it racked up thousands of views. It currently has more than 729,000 views on YouTube.

In a new video published Tuesday, Fr. Altman called those who left anonymous angry messages “vile cowards.”

“No matter what I’ve ever said in my entire life, I’ve never risen to the level and the vileness of the fascist, bully left,” Altman said.

That’s when he compared those people to Nazis.

“They want to scare you, just like Hitler’s Nazis did, the Brownshirts, into silence,” Altman said.

Brownshirts is a reference to the uniforms worn by those in the Sturmabteilung, a paramilitary organization associated with the Nazi Party. Fr. Altman later repeated the comparison.

“The left bullies. The bullies on the left. The Nazi Brownshirts. And that’s the same tactics,” Altman said.

He also praised Bishop William Patrick Callahan for how he handled the original controversy.

“Probably the other bishops would have hammered me right away because god forbid you offend the people on the left,” Altman said.

Bishop Callahan publicly admonished the actions but said he would consult with Altman privately. He said he would pray that Fr. Altman take steps to correct his behavior.

“Unfortunately, the tone Fr. Altman offers comes off as angry and judgmental, lacking any charity and in a way that causes scandal both in the Church and in society. His generalization and condemnation of entire groups of people is completely inappropriate and not in keeping with our values or the life of virtue,” said Bishop William Patrick Callahan, referencing the original viral video, in a statement.

Altman acknowledged he could have certain duties taken away for his comments, but wasn’t afraid.

“That would be a tactical error on the part of anybody to go down that road,” Altman said.

If he left the church, Fr. Altman said he’d have more time to write or publish more videos.

News 8 Now contacted the La Crosse Diocese for comment. We have not received a statement yet.