Medal of Honor to Fr. Kapaun

Inspiring story.

What a true hero! Thanks for the post.

A third chokes up when he tells of being injured and having an enemy soldier standing over him, rifle pointed; Kapaun walked up, pushed aside the muzzle and carried off the wounded man.


**This is a true man. **

I sit in stunned silence watching President Obama - on Fox News - make the most eloquent and moving speech of his career (in my opinion) in the tribute to Father Emil Kapaun who died in a Korean POW camp about the time that I was being born.

In telling Fr. Kapaun’s story, and posthumously awarding him a well deserved medal of honor, the President’s words were full of soaring (deserved) praise for the prisoner priest - and to my surprise - details of his work involving the hardships he went through and Fr. Kapaun’s reverence in distrubuting the sacraments.
Fr. Emil Kapaun saying a battlefield Mass
during the Korean War before his capture.

It was rather a good commercial for the Catholic Faith as the details were given, in quite a good spirit I must say, by a President I am almost always in disagreement with (politically). An excerpt from the Wichita Eagle:

President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to relatives of Father Emil Kapaun on Thursday, calling the priest from Pilsen “an American soldier who didn’t fire a gun, but who wielded the mightiest weapon of all … a love for his brothers so pure that he was willing to die so they might live.” – President Obama

Read more here:

The President’s speech still skirted around the mention of “Jesus Christ” specifically - but did at least allude to him when speaking of Fr. Kapaun and “his savior” and “redeemer” and “his Lord”. He might have mentioned “Jesus” or “Christ” or both in this context (I should think) without offending non-Christians as it is a Catholic Chaplain being honored as the context. But all in all, as I said, I was stunned – and happy beyond measure.

FURTHER … President Obama’s recapping (incidentally) of the Chinese troops entering
the war suddenly (when it appeared the United Nations troops under Mac Arthur had won the war < my detail here, but alluded to by the President) surprised me with its accuracy.

He was still speaking about Fr. Kapaun … but it is rare to have the fact mentioned that “Chinese volunteers” swamped the UN troops and took many prisoners, American and otherwise (in an undeclared act of treachery < my take again, but again, recounted in the President’s speech).

My head is spinning (in a happy way) to hear such high, detailed praise for a Catholic Priest and the Church and the Faith in general by this President. :clapping:

Throughout the US President Obama is prayed for by name in Catholic Churches at mass each day at the time of intercessory prayers (after the readings, before the offertory). I hope those blessings will “take” and that he receives them. More and more.

Even if it was a staff member that wrote the words he read and spoke off the TelePrompter today about Fr. Kapaun – he was hearing them himself and saying them and the story is such that it can affect people (and him) deeply. His meeting with the Kapaun family may deepen that experience.

I will post the transcript or the link to the entire speech when I see it.

Our Catholic faith is not of this world. Occasionally there are amazing conversions (or less sensational peaceful settlements) regarding the Church and its former “enemies”. St. Paul comes to mind, but also Napoleon - who went from outright enemy of the Church and the Pope’s jailer, to one who moderated his opposition, to being a revert before his death.

I can hope that maybe the HHS mandates will be set aside (hasn’t happened yet), and that
the ridiculous abortion mistake is someday repented of by the U.S. (also being prayed for daily at masses throughout the country); and one speech doesn’t dazzle me into forgetting important things remaining to be done. But it is nice to be proud of our President in a hour he is doing a very good thing. And I am.

Within a month of each other, the American political pole stars of the right and left have each given soaring tributes to the Catholic Church. Amazing. While I’m waiting to find President Obama’s speech posted on the internet (or one of you to post it). Here is another “Catholic tribute” that aired nationwide on March 15. THAT time the catalyst was the election of Pope Francis – and the speaker, Rush Limbaugh.

Neither the President nor Limbaugh are Catholic. With a bit of wonder and a happy laugh, I must post this hopeful scripture.

Romans 8: 31 What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? :dancing::extrahappy:

Look for Fr. Kapaun’s case for sainthood to be advanced soon – if it hasn’t been already!

As nice as it is to recognize a Catholic Priest for his service during a time of war, one must ask why any president would do such a thing.

This is a first that i know of , of any president issuing such a military honor to a Catholic Priest, then going out of his way to avoid acknowledging Jesus Christ.

So what really is the message ?

Kind of like a president being awarded a nobel peace prize.

Clergy do not expect nor need such secular honors bestowed upon them, and while Fr. Kapaun does deserve much respect and acknowledgement for his selfless service to Christ and soliders I can promise you i know of one priest living today who has undergone imprisonment in a foriegn country and faced execution for being a seminarian, for being Catholic. his story is untold, and so far as i know only our parish knows of his story, now think about how many Catholics around the world have similar untold stories, how many Christians in general are to this very day trying to live and worship Christ in the middle east and are facing death on a daily basis, or North Koreans who have to worship Christ in secret.

Who remembers them ? Who is going to award these men an women a Medal of Honor ?

All that this president has done, is used a Catholic Priest for his own purposes, If a President really wanted to acknowledge this mans’ service to Christ and His people, he should have faced our Holy Father Pope Francis and brought his feelings to the Holy Father for possible canonization.

These three Catholic Chaplains from the Vietnam War were also awarded the medal. :slight_smile: The photo shows Chaplain Charles Joseph Watters saying mass in camoflage vestments on a makeshift altar.

I must admit, my happiness in hearing President Obama’s tribute this morning completely eclipsed my usual suspicious scrutiny. And in a way … emotionally … I hardly care that* (in answer to your proper query - “So what really is the message?”):
– It might be a occasion for promoting the position that “we” were right in fighting in North Korea in the first place … and now those sabre rattling missile aimers say the armistice is off?! (i.e. a political and patriotic moment that greatly benefits the President).

– Or politically mending fences with Catholics angry over other issues.

Because greatness deserves to be honored. And the Army should do it. Commander-in-Chief’s included. :slight_smile:

Thank you for sharing about your local hero of similar credentials. I wished (and wish) you’d named him actually. Or that his story comes out soon. We all need to hear stories of heroism and honor (even if, as you point out, some of these people “don’t expect, or “need” it” themselves).

I disagree with you slightly on one take. IF the President has actually “used a Catholic Priest for his own purposes” – it would still not be “all he has done.”

For now … I am watching (yet again) coverage on the Fr. Kapaun tribute on TV. It is more about Fr. Kapaun with just a passing mention of the President. As it should be (this particular mention came on “The Five” a news analysis (and comedy?) program. Whatever. I’m blessed today to know more about Fr. Emil Kapaun than I did hours ago and am richer for it.

Don’t let me dissuade you from due diligence and vigilance and care in observing our country’s (and world’s) leaders. I can be as tough at times as being very adamant that:

Matthew 12:33 "Either declare the tree good and its fruit is good, or declare the tree rotten and its fruit is rotten, for a tree is known by its fruit.

But had St. Paul been reckoned that way (after his conversion) as it appears some did, it would not have been a correct reckoning (anymore - once he converted).

So when I see a spark of something good (and I think that the President was sincerely impressed with Fr. Kapaun from his OFF TelePromTer remarks) I will hope it leads to other good things. Even if, like you, I keep any elected leaders under a watchful eye (as a good informed citizen should to choose wisely later).

To your question “Who remembers them?” Jesus! And in heaven rewards are eternal. :extrahappy: Such may well be called “great in the kingdom of heaven.” which dwarfs a mere Congressional Medal of Honor < though THIS honor is a good one, even if all deserving of one don’t get one. As you rightly point out. :sad_yes: Thanks John. :thumbsup:

The cause for Father Kapaun’s beatification and canonization was opened in 2008 by the diocese of Wichita!

Let’s encourage our active military and veterans, and their loved ones, to pray to Father Emil Joseph Kapaun, Servant of God, Catholic Army chaplain.


Thanks for that good news! The story of Fr. Kapaun is indeed inspiring. It should be a movie. Or a TV series (dust of the old MASH set)!

Guess what CaptFun, according to Wikipedia there was a movie! (sort of – it was called a “television play”).

A G.E. Theater television play entitled “The Good Thief” aired on CBS in the late 1950s and starred Spencer Tracy.

It HAD to have been good, considering it starred Spencer Tracy!

I don’t know how to paste a picture here, otherwise I would have pasted the picture of Father Emil which was on Wikipedia.

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