Emil Kapaun was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in the U.S.A. in 1940, when Pius XII, who had helped bring the Roman Catholic thug Adolf Hitler to power in Germany, still hoped for a Catholic triumph over atheist-communism in World War II. We don't know what Emil thought of Hitler, or the other Roman Catholic dictators of that era (Mussolini in Italy, Franco in Spain, Petain in France, and a host of lesser lights).
By all accounts Father Kapaun was a good guy, within the limitations of his narrow view of the world. Almost his entire career was spent encouraging soldiers in the practice of war as a U.S. Army chaplain. Quite a few people think this means he should be made a Saint. Our war-loving President, doubtless with an eye on the Catholic vote, awarded Captain Kapaun a posthumous Medal of Honor in 2013. While that does not count towards sainthood, it certainly encourages the deluded people who like to believe in saints and miracles.
A military guy can be considered for sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church because the Church believes military action against non-Catholics is laudable. In the 20th century, until the Church was defeated in World War II, the main enemy was seen as atheism, along with socialist and communist economic tendencies. Sainthood for warriors is no novelty, as historically the Church has made such warriors as the Roman Emperor Constantine and the Reich emperor Charles the Great (Charlemagne) saints.
During World War II Kapaun served as an Army chaplain first in the United States, but in April 1945 he was sent to Burma. The Burmese, who were mainly Buddhist, had long sought independence from the British Empire. Kapaun's unit fought both Burmese and Japanese soldiers.
After a few years of civilian life he again became an army chaplain, was transferred to Japan, and then transferred into the Korean War. The Korean civil war was being won by Korean atheists led by communists, but the U.S. intervened, which would be a war crime if international justice were blind.
Not content with restoring the south of Korea to a pro-capitalist U.S. puppet dictatorship, when U.S. (and Korean puppet) armies reached the old north-south border, they kept attacking to the north, and eventually captured almost all of the populated areas of Korea, causing great suffering and destruction. But China came to Korea's aid when the troops under General MacArthur's command approached the Chinese boarder.
Among those troops, as chaplain to the 8th Cavalry Regiment of the 3rd Battalion, was Father Kapaun. He kept the killing spirit of the troops up, but his prayers did not work during the Battle of Unsan on November 2, 1950, which the United States lost. Father Kapaun was taken prisoner. As prisoner he reportedly stole food from the guards. Despite his later-claimed miraculous powers, Father Kapaun became sick, was transferred to a hospital, and died of pneumonia on May 23, 1951. It is notable that other U.S. POWs survived and were
Since no one is even arguing that he performed any miracles during his lifetime, it is hard for non-Catholics to see why the Catholic Church would call him a saint. Apparently deluded individuals have been praying to this war criminal for decades. In 2008 apparently God's bureaucrats finally got around to granting a miracle, in which a Catholic 20-year old man had a serious head injury in track practice, but his folks prayed to Saint Kapaun, and he recovered. Then in 2011 a Catholic guy running a 5K race collapsed, and apparently died, but then magically arose from the dead when his cousin prayed to Saint Kapaun.
The Light of Reason
Maybe God does like Catholics to kill Atheists. Catholic Popes certainly like Catholics to kill atheists. But miracles, really? If the guy had curative powers he could have cured his own pneumonia. If he had the power of conversion he could have converted his guards to Catholicism and walked back to U.S. Army lines.
Nope, Emil Kapaun's story just proves that some Roman Catholics are just vicious and stupid. Roman Catholics get sick like anyone else and die like anyone else. The only difference is that they keep the world mired in superstition and violence while they are alive. Individual Catholics may play well with others, and do good as individuals, but that is true of individuals of almost any group you can name, including atheists.