CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – A local Catholic church is apologizing after a recent church bulletin featured an advertisement calling for young men to form a militia.

The ad, which featured a call to “join now” in large bold font, was printed in the church’s bulletin on June 16. It calls for young men, ages 18 to 29, to form a militia to “protect the holy eucharist, congregation, clergy, and church grounds from violent and non-violent attacks.”

The church posted a retraction to its website Wednesday, saying there is no militia being formed and that it regrets that the advertisement was included in the bulletin. It added that the suggestion that the church community might require a militia is “inappropriate and unhelpful.” In addition, the post also clarified that there have been no threats made against the church.

FOX 2 talked to multiple parishioners off-camera. All said this appears to be an unfortunate, but honest, mistake. One agreed to do an interview as long as we did not use his name or show his face.


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“It sort of was a mistake,” he said. “It was an advertisement that was printed without any review by the parish, and I think it slipped through the review process cracks, if you will.”

Longtime parishioners familiar with the publishing process said, like many churches, Ascension’s bulletins are published by an outside agency. Still, they were shocked to see the review process break down this easily.

“It was just kind of a surprise, because it’s contradictory to everything that the school and the church preaches in the parish.”

The church did not release any information about the individual who paid for this advertisement, but the ad did feature a QR code with a link to apply for this supposed militia. The link now leads to an application form that is “no longer accepting responses.”