An Oblate priest who has long protested against America’s nuclear weapons arsenal was found guilty Dec. 21 of criminal mischief and trespassing on government property at the site of a nuclear missile silo in northern Colorado.
Father Carl Kabat, 76, was sentenced by Weld County Court Judge Dana Nichols to time served — 137 days — after his Aug. 6 arrest at the silo near New Raymer, Colo.
Nichols also imposed court costs totaling $254.50 and is allowing prosecutors to file a notice of restitution to Warren Air Force Base for damages. Kabat vowed not to pay either bill.
Testifying during the two-day trial, Kabat admitted he had cut a fence and entered the property, his most recent action to oppose the nation’s nuclear weapons policies. He had argued that his action was mandated by God’s law in order to oppose a greater evil. However, Nichols instructed jurors to limit their deliberations to whether the priest broke the law in entering the silo site.
The conviction was the 18th for Kabat in his prayerful quest to rid the world of nuclear weapons. He has served more than 17 years behind bars since his first protest in 1976.
The trial concluded in time for Kabat to return to the Catholic Worker house in St. Louis where he lives and spend the holidays with family and friends.