The Church Militant Resistance chapter in St. Louis hit a grand slam this week, persuading the Carmelite nuns in their city to withdraw an invitation to Knoxville bishop Richard Stika.
Church Militant's Kristine Christlieb relates the story from the Carmelite monastery in St. Louis.
Bob Baker, Church Militant Resistance member: "Well, I come to this novena every year. It's just so beautiful. I've been coming for 10–15 years. I'm just so impressed with it, and I look forward to it actually. It's a very spiritual, inspirational event."
It's been a busy month for St. Louis' Church Militant Resistance chapter.
As soon as one of its members, Bob Baker, learned Bp. Stika would be celebrating the Mass for the Carmelite nuns' annual Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, he knew something had to be done.
Accusations about Stika's protection of predator clerics have been swirling for decades and have recently come to a head.
Baker: "Maybe he's innocent. Who knows? But he has been accused so publicly, it would just be a scandal for him if he didn't step back from public appearances until this whole matter is settled."
Others were also outraged.
Ken Battis, Church Militant Resistance member: "We couldn't believe that he was really going to come here, to have such a public forum to pretend he's a defender of the Faith, when we know better in terms of being a predator protector."
Baker took the lead in sharing the chapter's concerns, writing a personal letter to Mother Moriah, explaining Stika's appearance would likely spark protests from a variety of organizations.
The Carmelite nuns are cloistered and knew nothing of the accusations against Stika. Mother Moriah was likely touched by what she heard.
Baker: "So I said to Mother, 'How many souls do we have to lose?'"
Resistance Chapter captain Jim Murphy explained what inspired him to take action.
Jim Murphy, Church Militant Resistance captain:
What really drew me was the 11 priests in Knoxville that decided, "I'm going to stand up to this guy, and we're going to sign the letter and send it to Rome because Bp. Stika is not being a good guy." So that's what drove me to say at our meeting — our monthly meeting was a couple of days before coming here — I said, "I'm going there!" And Bob said, "I'll go with you!"
You can meet these local heroes in Detroit! They'll be attending Church Militant's Call to Action Convention in August.
For more information about Bishop Stika watch our Spotlight: Truth-teller or Sociopath?