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Missouri church is forced to apologize after publishing concerning ad in its bulletin

A church in Missouri has apologized after an alarming advertisement was placed in the church magazine.

Ascension Catholic Church in Chesterfield, about a two-hour drive from Jefferson City, took out an advertisement in its June 16 bulletin urging young men to join a militia.

“JOIN NOW” was written in large, bold letters on the announcement calling on men aged 18 to 29 to form the group “The Legion of Sancta Lana.”

Alongside a large QR code that directed people to an app, the ad explained that members would “protect the Holy Eucharist, the congregation, the clergy and the church square from violent and non-violent attacks.”

The Catholic Church quickly withdrew the ad, calling it a “mistake.” The Rev. Eugene Schaeffer, the parish’s assistant pastor, called it a “mistake.”

Ascension Catholic Church in Chesterfield, Missouri, originally posted an announcement in its June 16 bulletin urging young men to join a militia

The Ascension Catholic Church in Chesterfield, Missouri, originally placed an announcement in its June 16 bulletin calling on young men to join a militia

The advertisement (pictured) called on men aged 18 to 29 to form the group 'The Legion of Sancta Lana' to 'protect the Holy Eucharist, the congregation, the clergy and the church grounds from violent and non-violent to attack'

The advertisement (pictured) called on men aged 18 to 29 to form the group 'The Legion of Sancta Lana' to 'protect the Holy Eucharist, the congregation, the clergy and the church grounds from violent and non-violent attacks '

The advertisement (pictured) called on men aged 18 to 29 to form the group ‘The Legion of Sancta Lana’ to ‘protect the Holy Eucharist, the congregation, the clergy and the church grounds from violent and non-violent attacks’

“The advertisement, which included a QR code with an application for membership, suggests that a militia would be formed and that this group would be affiliated with the Ascension parish. This is of course not true,” the church said in a statement about her website.

‘To be absolutely clear, no militia is being formed and we regret that this point was included in the bulletin.

“Furthermore, the suggestion that our community needs a militia to celebrate the Eucharist is both inappropriate and unhelpful.

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“We sincerely apologize for this error and the distress it has caused. We believe it is in the best interests of our parish and our community that we make it clear that we do not support this activity,” the statement reads.

The advertisement explained that interested members would have to undergo training that consisted of

The advertisement explained that interested members would have to undergo training that involved

The ad explained that interested members would have to undergo training that consisted of “strict physical fitness standards, classroom instruction and instruction in military operations.”

The advertisement explained that interested members would be required to undergo training that involved “strict physical fitness standards, classroom study, and instruction in military operations.”

A militia is an organized army of non-professional and part-time soldiers who work together in emergency situations.

The church assured parishioners and the public that there had been “no threat” that would require a group of young men to protect the religious community.

A male parishioner, who wished to remain anonymous, said Fox 2 reiterated the hon.’s acknowledgment of the error.

“It was an advertisement that was placed without any checks by the parish and I think it slipped through the cracks of the checks process,” he said.

The Catholic Church quickly withdrew the ad and posted an apology (photo) on its website

The Catholic Church quickly withdrew the ad and posted a statement of apology (pictured) on its website

The Catholic Church quickly withdrew the ad and posted a statement of apology (pictured) on its website

The Catholic Church quickly withdrew the ad after the parish's assistant pastor, Reverend Eugene Schaeffer (pictured), called it a

The Catholic Church quickly withdrew the ad after the parish's assistant pastor, Reverend Eugene Schaeffer (pictured), called it a

The Catholic Church quickly withdrew the ad after the Rev. Eugene Schaeffer (pictured), the parish’s associate pastor, called it an “error.”

Although the church bulletins are published by an outside agency, longtime parishioners were shocked to see the strange advertisement inside.

“It was a surprise because it goes against everything the school and the church in the parish preach,” said one parishioner.

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The church operates two Catholic schools: The Little School for children ages two through five and Ascension Catholic School for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

The parish has not identified the person who paid for the ad, but the QR code link shows the sign-up form is “no longer accepting comments.”

DailyMail.com contacted Ascension Catholic Church for comment.

Another church recently gained national attention when leaders banned the parish from using its amphitheater for Sunday prayers.

Dillon city officials blocked all non-city-sponsored groups from using their amphitheater, including Dillon Community Church, which had held events there for 42 years.

City officials in Dillon blocked all non-city-sponsored groups from using their amphitheater, including the Dillon Community Church, which had hosted events there for 42 years

City officials in Dillon blocked all non-city-sponsored groups from using their amphitheater, including Dillon Community Church, which had hosted events there for 42 years

Officials with the City of Dillon, Colorado, blocked access to the space for all non-city-sponsored groups, including Dillon Community Church, which hosted events there for 42 years. The church received a lot of rental requests.

The decision now makes the town of 1,000 residents the center of a debate over worship services in public buildings.

Pressure groups on both sides subsequently threatened lawsuits, with some demanding that the church be given special dispensation to meet, while others labeled the preferential access as “Christian privilege.”

City Manager Nathan Johnson told The Denver Post, “There needs to be a separation between church and state. We cannot favor one faith over another.”

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