The Catholic Defender: The Story of Four Chaplains


Obama and his Administration

sought to classify the Catholic Church as a “hate group” because it holds fast to the apostolic tradition coming from the Apostles. The Trump Administration is 180 degrees opposite as they believe in religious freedom.

The Catholic Church has done much in serving the United States helping the poor, strengthening the fabric of society.

But the winds of change brought about by Obama bringing gay marriage, an abomination to the Lord Our God, abortion and Planned Parenthood, great evils the bible warns:

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

The following are but some examples of some great Catholic Priests who served well this great Nation of ours:

On June 14, 1775, the 1st Continental Congress places the militia at Boston under its control and authorities ten companies of riflemen to be raised.

This is the official birthday of the United States Army.

By July 29, the official birthday of the American Chaplaincy Corps, the Congress authorized chaplains in the United States army with a rank equal to that of a Captain and a monthly pay of twenty dollars.

The Chaplains was provided “forage for one horse.”

Chaplains have been a very important position serving our troops on land and sea.

Since the Civil War, there have been 5 Catholic priests who were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Father Emil Kapaun, an Army chaplain from Kansas, who died as a prisoner of war in Korea;

Father Vincent Capodanno, a Maryknoll priest from Staten Island, New York, who died when, despite his own war injuries, he tended injured Marines during battle in Vietnam;

Father Joseph O’Callahan, a Jesuit priest and Navy chaplain in World War II, who ministered to injured sailors on a ship hit by two bombs.

Father Charles J. Watters, from New Jersey, who served in Vietnam. He rescued wounded men at the Battle of Dak To and ran through intense gunfire to help wounded soldiers. He died in the worst “friendly fire” incident in Vietnam.

Father Angelo Liteky, who won his medal for carrying 20 wounded soldiers to safety during intense fighting on a search-and-destroy mission in Vietnam. He later became a peace activist, left the priesthood in 1975, and renounced his medal in 1986. ( I honor his service and what he did to receive the Medal of Honor. I do not support the actions he has taken since. Pray for him.)

Father Kapaun and Father Capodanno also are being considered for sainthood.

Today, our military chaplaincy is being threatened by a liberal government who do not cherish the great history and relationship between chaplains and the Soldiers in their care.

New policies that our Government is adopting such as the acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage threatens this relationship.

We really need to pray that our Country guides itself back to a pro-God, pr-family setting.

The following is a story of four heroic Chaplains:

World War I gave rise to submarine warfare as the Germans attempted to use Submarines to defeat England and America.

They felt that if they would have had 100 submarines they could have completed their task.

Because of the technology developed by Germany in submarine warfare, this has caused the major powers to develop and improve the technology.

Today, we have submarines that have nuclear capability.

During World War II, ships at sea were sometimes vulnerable to the threat of submarine warfare.

After putting together my article on the Titanic, a friend of mine from DCF, Defenders of the Catholic Faith (GKC), asked me if I were aware of The Four Chaplains?

I did remember this story because of their bravery. The following is their story:

The Dorchester was sent on mission leaving New York on January 23, 1943.

It’s mission: to transfer 900 civilians and military to Greenland, this included the four chaplains.

The Dorchester was escorted by the Coast Guard traveling in convoy (SG-19 convoy).

The Coast Guard Cutters Tampa, Escanaba, and Comanche embarked the journey.

Captains log, February 3, 1943 at 12:55 a.m., the Dorchester was hit by a torpedo by the German submarine (U-223) just off Newfoundland.

Notice how close to home this was? The torpedo knocked out the electrical system causing a wide panic among the passengers.

Despite the fact that the Commander, Captain Hans J. Danielson ordered for the ship’s crew to sleep in their clothing and life jackets, the order was largely ignored and when the torpedo hit, you can imagine the chaos that followed.

With the panic, the Chaplains tried to help calm the situation as they attempted to evacuate the ship in an orderly fashion.

There were wounded Sailors and the Chaplains were seen helping the wounded.

As the supplies ran out so did the life jackets and so the Chaplains offered theirs to those who had none.

One of the survivors, Grady Clark, stated, “As I swam away from the ship, I looked back. The flares had lighted everything. The bow came up high and she slid under. The last thing I saw, the Four Chaplains were up there praying for the safety of the men. They had done everything they could. I did not see them again. They themselves did not have a chance without their life jackets” (source: Kvaran, Einar Einarsson, An Annotated Inventory of Outdoor Sculpture of Washtenaw County, unpublished document, 1989).

Other eye witness accounts heard the Chaplains praying in Latin along with Jewish prayers (UnionPresbyterian.com).

Of the 904 passengers aboard the Dorchester, 230 were rescued.

Because of the cold water, hypothermia neutralized the life jackets as most perished in the water.

The water temperature was 34 °F (1 °C) and the air temperature was 36 °F (2 °C).

By the time additional rescue ships arrived, “hundreds of dead bodies were seen floating on the water, kept up by their life jackets.” (Morison, Samuel Eliot (1975). History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Volume I The Battle of the Atlantic 1939-1943. Little, Brown and Company).

Of the Four Chaplains, one was a Catholic Priest, one was a Jewish Rabbi, one was Church of Christ, and the other was a Methodist.

These men: George L. Fox, Alexander D. Goode, Clark V. Poling, and John P. Washington are American heros who displayed exceptional heroism in the face of danger.

They were seen going down arm in arm locked singing praise to God.

What an amazing story and still typical of the many Chaplains I was honored to serve with in my 26 plus years in the Army.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

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