La Crosse Priest Digs In To Refuse Bishop’s Demand To Resign

Rev. James Altman Was Asked To Step Down Earlier This Month

Published: 

  • Saturday, June 5, 2021, 9:05am

The Rev. James Altman calls himself “a lowly priest” serving a blue-collar city in western Wisconsin. But when his bishop demanded his resignation — after a series of divisive remarks about politics and the pandemic — Altman refused to oblige.

In two weeks since then, he has since raised more than $640,000 from his conservative supporters to defend himself.

Sign up for daily news!

Stay informed with WPR’s email newsletter.

Altman is pastor of St. James the Less, a Roman Catholic Church in La Crosse. He first came into prominence before the 2020 election with a fiery video on YouTube, saying Catholics who voted for Democrats risked going to hell.

He has reiterated that sentiment recently, while also criticizing vaccination efforts and restrictions on church gatherings related to COVID-19.