Oblate Father Carl Kabat: ‘A fool for Christ’

Oblate Father Carl Kabat, 76, prepares to hang a banner on the fence around a nuclear armed missile in northern Colorado Aug. 6. (Courtesy St. Louis Catholic Worker)

Oblate Father Carl Kabat, 76, prepares to hang a banner on the fence around a nuclear armed missile in northern Colorado Aug. 6. (Courtesy St. Louis Catholic Worker)

Spending time behind bars is nothing new for Oblate Father Carl Kabat. So on his 76th birthday Oct. 10, he could think of no better place to be than a jail cell.

The St. Louis priest has spent more than 15 years behind bars as a “fool for Christ” for numerous faith witnesses challenging U.S. nuclear weapons policy.

Father Kabat’s latest arrest came Aug. 6. Dressed in his usual colorful clown suit, he cut a hole in a fence surrounding a missile silo in rural Weld County, 40 miles north of Greeley, Colo. The fence was decorated with banners decrying the pursuit of nuclear warfare and a clown doll.

His symbolic action came on the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. The statement he issued prior to his arrest can be read here.

Father Kabat spent his 76th birthday in the Weld County Jail, where he is awaiting trial on misdemeanor charges of trespassing and criminal mischief for his latest protest. His trial is set for Dec. 9.

When he’s not engaged in faith-based protests, Father Kabat resides at Karen House, a Catholic Worker house for homeless women and their children, in St. Louis. Ordained 50 years ago, he was a missionary in the Philippines and Brazil in the 1960s and 1970s.

Father Kabat can be reached at the Weld County Jail, 2110 O St., Greeley, Colo., 80631.

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8 Responses to Oblate Father Carl Kabat: ‘A fool for Christ’

  1. Sister Mary John, Blessed Sacarment of Jonesboro, is my spiritual advisor. I am new to Oblate and very interested in improving my prayer life.

  2. lexetlibertas says:

    The Church loses her credibility when her ministers inject themselves into partisan politics, taking such outrageous stands on matters of prudential judgments, on which Catholics may hold disagreement. The Church needs to leave secular politics to the laity, confining itself to quiet advisory, and getting condemnatory only when a matter of intrinsic evil is at stake (abortion, embryo-destructive research, homosexualism, euthanasia, and human cloning, for example).

    The misplacement of our activism, as a church, severely discredits us in the public eye. We need to be more discriminating.

  3. Paul says:

    If he wants to spend his life in jail protesting U.S. nuclear weapons policy, he should do it on his own time. Injecting the priesthood into this ideological issue is gratuitous and demeaning. If he wants to make a real statement, let him stand on his own two feet without the platform that his Catholic priesthood gives him. It is no wonder that seminaries and rectories are empty when (he) is held up as a model.

  4. Lincoln Rice says:

    I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet Fr. Kabat a few times over the years. He is a very gentle and loving soul who cares greatly for all of God’s creation, even those not born in the United States. He served in the military in the Philippines before becoming a priest and saw the destruction of war and the Mystical Body of Christ tearing itself apart. War is the true blasphemy. We should all be thanking Fr. Kabat for his courageous work.

  5. gunter says:

    rather than retreat behind our theological barricades and chucking rocks at each other, let us as brothers and sisters in Christ join together in our common concern for ending genocide, nuclear or through abortion

  6. macdonald says:

    i pray that god will be behind him we as christains are fighting war against inhumanity of man to and genocide .

  7. macdonald says:

    the rev father should not worry becos our lord jesus christ visited peter in the prison and in his hands break and the doors opens by itself and apostle peter and his angel left the prison . that god isa still alive and he never change and he hears the cry of his people in prison.

  8. Duty is what God want from his priest, the more power to Oblate Father Carl Kabatat. I will add him to my priest whom I pray for. The mist of evil is in the government that abuses their power to harm.

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