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Pro-life priest sentenced to jail, but freed to serve in military

Fr Norman Weslin was sentenced by US District Judge Richard Arcara to five months in federal prison Friday for "criminal" contempt in Buffalo Federal Court, but because the Pentagon is considering his status as a military chaplain, he remains out of jail.

Catholic World News reports that the priest was found guilty of kneeling in silent prayer in full priestly vestments inside a 20 metre abortion clinic buffer zone set up by Judge Arcara.

Fr Weslin, a 71-year-old retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Army who was once in charge of the nuclear defence of New York state, voluntarily turned himself in but was not put in prison immediately since he may be of service to the country in the war on terrorism.

The Pentagon is considering taking up Fr Weslin's offer to be sent to Afghanistan as a military chaplain serving the US troops. Although Fr Weslin was convicted and sentenced, US Marshals in the court refused to take the priest into custody.

"As of today Fr Weslin is free," Mary E. Quinn of New York Lambs for Christ told LifeSite.