Elderly nun sentenced for nuclear site break-in
The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Sister Megan Rice of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for breaking into and causing damage at a Tennessee nuclear weapons manufacturing facility.

The 83-year-old nun was accompanied in the July 2012 break-in by Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, all of whom are members of Transform Now Plowshares. The three had been convicted May 8, 2013, and received their sentences Feb. 18.

Walli and Boertje-Obed were sentenced to more than five years in prison, as they had longer criminal histories.

Sr. Mary Ann Buckley, leader of the American Province of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, said Feb. 18 that the order is “deeply saddened” by the length of Sr. Rice’s sentence.

“While the Society respects the judicial process and the court’s decision, we had hoped and prayed that Sister Megan’s age, health, and decades of service would have been considered.”

At her sentencing, Sr. Rice had asked the court to “please have no leniency with me.”

Sr. Buckley said Sr. Rice “has dedicated her life to helping others and working toward a more just, compassionate, and harmonious world.”

On July 28, 2012, the three protestors cut through security fences to enter the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, which enriches and stores uranium for nuclear weapons.

They hung banners and crime-scene tape, and hammered small chunks off a wall, spending about two hours in the complex before being approached by a guard.

They also sprayed baby bottles, filled with human blood, on the wall of the facility.

“Sister Megan and two others engaged in a peaceful protest, offering prayer for the thousands who have lost their lives as a result of nuclear weapons,” Sr. Buckley wrote in her statement.

Boertje-Obed said the human blood they sprayed on the facility was symbolic of “the blood of children (that) is spilled by these weapons.”

The three perpetrators said while testifying, according to The Associated Press, that they have no remorse for their act and were pleased to have reached such a secure part of the security complex.

Sr. Rice said “my regret was I waited 70 years. It is manufacturing that can only cause death.”

The three all indicated they felt “guided by divine forces,” the AP reported.

The statement also said that Sr. Rice believes, “with the Church,” that “nuclear weapons are incompatible with the peace so desperately needed throughout the world.” The religious community said at the time of Sr. Rice’s conviction that it does “not condone criminal activity.”

The order “has a history of standing up for those in need,” Sr. Buckley added. “We are committed to helping women, children and families by providing educational, spiritual, and social programs across four continents.”

Since the 2012 breach, security officials have introduced numerous security changes at the Oak Ridge facility.

Tags: Nuclear Weapons, Nuns

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20