Where is Father James Altman Now?

September 7, 2023

A Wisconsin priest became a celebrity of sorts after refusing to abide by his bishop’s request to resign, urging conservative Catholics to raise more than $640,000 for his canonical defense. But where is he now?

A week ago, Altman reportedly purchased a home in the Diocese of La Crosse. The move follows a diocesan decree in July ordering him to reside in the diocese and restrict his priestly faculties, according to a report by NCR. The diocese also imposed requirements such as attending a spiritual retreat and meeting with the diocesan vicar for clergy on a monthly basis.

The order is a clear sign that the bishop does not intend to relent in his fight against Altman, whose words and actions do not resemble those of a man who wants to return to active parish ministry. He is not a “priest of God,” according to the bishop, who called him a heretic for his statements about abortion, race, immigration and climate change.

While his supporters have argued that the bishop is being vindictive in his fight against Altman, canon lawyers tell NCR they believe the priest’s behavior could help his bishop build a case for stricter restrictions on his ministry. The diocese did not respond to NCR’s request for comment.


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