Couming was to have gone to trial yesterday morning. Couming's father, a 70-year-old janitor in the Columbia Point housing project, took the stand instead, and, according to Couming, denounced the trial as "nothing but part of the continuing harassment of dissenters against the war."
Raymond F. Fidler Jr. a member of the Paulist Center Peace Committee, said that Couming entered the sanctuary at 5 Park St. in Boston at 11 a. m. yesterday morning. To avoid possible capture by police, Couming said he joined a march organized to support him and from the demonstration slipped into the Center.
When asked yesterday, afternoon about his future plans, Couming said, "We'll have to play it by ear. I'm just going to wait here until the marshals come to get me. I think it'll be a few days though-they're scared to come in and bust a Catholic church." He said that "under no circumstances" would he leave the country.
Couming, who is defending himself, added that he didn't feel the contempt of court charge he would probably face when he was finally apprehended would make any difference in his trial. "As far as I'm concerned, I honestly don't feel that this government that burns babies has any right to try me for anything," he said.
Father Michael J. Hunt, the Catholic chaplain at Boston University and a resident of the Paulist Center, said yesterday evening that no authority was needed to allow Couming to seek sanctuary at the Center. "We are an open community, a group of people who have always been ready to give sanctuary," Hunt added.
Hunt said that he felt the active role played by nuns and priests in the resistance movement was "a good thing. A lot of Middle America Roman Catholics will be puzzled and will be forced to confront the issue, Jerry Rubin they can forget about, but this is not so easy."