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

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

The silhouette of a cross on a Catholic church
Michael Dwyer/AP Photo

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.

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.

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