German court finds Jesuit priest guilty and fines him for his climate activism


A German court has convicted a Jesuit priest of trespassing and fined him €2,500 ($2,800) for his involvement in a protest against climate change.

Father Franz Jalics, 83, was among 30 activists who blocked access to an open-pit coal mine in western Germany in July 2019.

The court found that Jalics had used his status as a priest to draw attention to the protest.

Jalics had argued that the protest was necessary to force the government to take action to combat climate change.

The court said it accepted that Jalics had acted out of sincere conviction but that his actions had violated the law.

Jalics had said he would not pay the fine, instead offering to do community service.

The sentence was suspended and Jalics will not have to serve any jail time.