Crane Pruning Hook

July 4, 2011 remarks by Father Carl Kabat, OMI at the construction site of the new nuclear weapons parts plant in Kansas City, MO.  Fr. Kabat is a 73-year-old priest of the Catholic order Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate who is best known for his eccentric, nonviolent protests against nuclear weapons. He has served over 17 years total in prison over his lifetime.

I, Fr. Carl Kabat, omi, have been pondering an appropriate way to celebrate the fourth of July, commonly called Independence Day.  Today it would be more appropriate to call it Interdependence Day since all of us live on this small planet Earth.  To show my patriotism and love for my country and the good of my country, I have decided on a pruning hook action in Kansas City, Missouri.

The opinion of the 1995 World Court is that weapons of mass destruction are a crime against humanity.

Christian churches have said that it is a sin to build a nuclear weapon.  Churches have declared that nuclear weapons are a crime against The Holy One and humanity and are to be condemned unreservedly!

Some have further stated that the manufacturing, deployment or use of nuclear must be condemned unreservedly.

The Nazis during WWII killed and burned 6 million of our Jewish sisters and brothers and 5 million sisters and brothers (who were communists, priests, Gypsies, enemy combatants, homosexuals, people with disabilities, etc).  Now 4 of our Minuteman IIIs could, in 30 minutes, go half way around the world and kill 12 million of our sisters and brothers.  We have become very sophisticated and efficient in our killing and burning.

We have more nuclear weapons than all the rest of the world combined and at one time could kill everyone on this planet fifteen times over.

Eighty five percent (85%) of the parts for nuclear bombs are made by the people of Kansas City.

May The Holy One have mercy on us all!

By my action I wish to en-flesh the reversal of our insane actions and hope that we will start to celebrate an interdependence and rid ourselves of nuclear weapons.

Peace,

Fr. Carl Kabat, omi

Thomas Hereford provided the following background information. 

Fr Carl Kabat entered the construction site of the new nuclear bomb factory in Kansas City, MO approximately 10:00 p.m. July 3rd.  At dawn, on July 4, he had broken windows on a number of those huge cranes on the site but was unable to get into the cabs.  He then looked around for someone to “go to confession to” and couldn’t find anyone.  His plan was to cut the fence to get out, hitchhike to Kansas City and take the bus back to St. Louis.  The police must have changed his plans for him.

Fr. Kabat was charged with illegal entry and held at the downtown Kansas City, MO jail.  He was released at 4 a.m. Tuesday, July 5th; and has returned to St. Louis by bus.

In follow up to earlier arrests at this site, you are asked to come to Municipal Court, 1101 Locust, KCMO, on July 19 for the 1:30pm hearing for several of the 53 persons (including 33 Missourians and many Catholic Workers) who trespassed on May 2 at the site for the new nuclear weapons parts production plant in southern KC, at Missouri Hwy. 150, between Prospect and Botts.  If you have questions, contact Jane Stoever, 913-206-4088.

The synoptic Gospels record that when Jesus approached Jerusalem and prepared for his act of nonviolent civil disobedience at the Temple and the probable consequences of arrest, jail, trial and execution that would follow, he told his disciples that the courtroom would be the place where they would be able to proclaim the truth of God’s reign.  Mark’s Gospel, the earliest of the four, advises Christians, in the words of Jesus, to speak boldly when dragged into court, for the Spirit of God will be present:

Watch out for yourselves.  They will hand you over to the courts.  You will be beaten in synagogues.  You will be arraigned before governors and kings because of me, as a witness before them.  But the gospel must first be preached to all nations.  When they lead you away and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say.  But say whatever will be given to you at that hour.  For it will not be you who are speaking but the holy spirit. (Mark 13:9-11)

And lastly, for further reflection you may want to read remarks by Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the U.N.  He gave a speech at the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocesan Catholic Center on July 1, 2011.  His remarks, “The Nuclear Question: The Church’s [Catholic] Teaching and the Current State of Affairs,” can be found in their entirety here.

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