I have some sympathy for the congregation, with reservations.
I have next to none for the priest because of his attraction to the fringe of Traditional Apostolic Christianity. I suppose that may be why they were able to attract him to their cause, however they are now being drawn in toward his liberal positions.
If they truly have 500 families, I would be surprised (of course, strong modern RC parishes can easily have more than 2000 families, but as I understand it this parish had been in serious inner city decline). I would think the parish rolls are inflated by names that have not been present for years. But it seems like the congregation has been attracting at least some disaffected Roman Catholics from the St Louis area so I suppose it is possible.
I am surprised the neither the SSPX nor the PNCC have been involved, I wonder if the Trustees even tried to contact either group.
By fighting in this way to keep the building open and functioning they have opened themselves up to the possibility of being taught strange and even heretical ideas through a young liberal priest.
That the bishop may have planned to close the parish I do not doubt, it might have been considered necessary due to the need to carefully allocate increasingly precious resources. It is a rarity these days to see a Roman Catholic parish community in the USA that still possesses title to the property, and this may actually be the only one. If the title had been clearly in the hands of the bishop we would have seen an end to this squabble long, long ago and forgotten it by now.
When the bishop was assigning priests and the diocese subsidizing a school it could be reasonably argued that a declining parish was squandering the resources of the greater diocese, but not so anymore... actually the parish costs the Archdiocese nothing now; the parish funds the priest, all of it's own repairs and incidental costs.
I think all schism is tragic, but this one seems particularly unnecessary. It looks to have more to due with brick, mortar, accessories and accoutrements (in other words, physical things that will not endure) than spiritual concerns. Both parties have to take responsibilty for this nonsense.