Vatican continues investigation into Father Emil Kapaun

In this undated photo provided by the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, Father Emil Kapaun holds out a broken pipe. The plain-spoken, pipe-smoking chaplain is receiving the Medal of Honor posthumously for his “extraordinary heroism” while serving as an Army chaplain during the Korean War. He died in captivity in 1951 _ about six months after being taken prisoner. His fellow POWs lobbied for decades to have him receive the prestigious military honor and some of them will be at the White House to see his relatives accept the medal on his behalf on April 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Courtesy Catholic Diocese of Wichita)

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WICHITA, Kansas– The Catholic Diocese of Wichita has been working with Vatican investigators for several years now in hopes that Father Emil Kapaun will one day become a saint.

Investigators were in Wichita on Sunday to gather information on the alleged miracles so it can be presented to the Vatican in Rome.

“There are so many steps,” said Madelaine Kuns, Director of English Language Causes for the Vatican.

Hundreds of documents supporting the alleged miracles of the late Fr. Emil Kapaun were spread out on a conference room table at the Catholic Diocese of Wichita.

“Dr. Ambrosi thinks this is a very special cause,” said Kuns.

Vatican investigator Dr. Andrea Ambrosi has been looking into the cause for about 7 years now.

Dr. Ambrosi tells KSN News through a translator that based on the countless testimony from people who witnessed the miracles, he believes they have a compelling case on their hands.

“He feels especially affectionate,” said Kuns. “Based on these facts just how unique and rare the cause is.”

Dr. Ambrosi has been putting together information to verify two local miracles before the Vatican can declare Kapaun a saint.

“I have always seen Fr. Kapaun as a pillar of faith for the area,” said Kuns.

Doctors told family of a Hutchinson teen that her soccer days were over after a disorder continued to destroy her internal organs, but the family says they started praying to Fr. Kapaun for her recovery.

“Doctors said if I would have lived I would have become like a vegetable,” said Avery Gerleman, 19. “I would be on oxygen my whole life and never be able to play soccer and I’m playing today.”

Life’s early calling led Kapaun to priesthood soon after he served as a military chaplain during the Korean War.

Risking his own life to rescue dozens of wounded soldiers from the battle lines and spreading words of hope to prisoners of wars.

“In the church you’re supposed to live like saints and he truly did,” said Kuns. “He lived like a saint.”

Dr. Ambrosi believes the Catholic Diocese of Wichita will have all the evidence of the miracles finalized by Christmas.

However a new Bishop still needs to be appointed to the diocese after Bishop Jackels was named archbishop of Dubuque, Iowa.

The Pope must appoint a new bishop to Wichita before the evidence can be presented to the Vatican in Rome.



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