Archbishop Fulton Sheen's Cause May Move Forward After Breakthrough Agreement

(photo: Photo Credit: Fred Palumbo, World Telegram staff photographer, public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

This morning the cause for the beatification of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen has been granted a reprieve from the stalemate it has experienced.

The Diocese of Peoria announced “with great joy” that the family of Archbishop Fulton Sheen petitioned the Supreme Court of New York state to allow all his remains to be transferred to Peoria, Ill.

Up to this point both the Peoria diocese and the Archdiocese of New York, where Sheen is entombed in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, both laid claim to his remains. The cause for his beatification could not move along until this point was settled.

Now it seems decided and settled, thanks to Sheen’s living relatives.

Mrs. Joan Sheen Cunningham, his oldest living relative, supported by other living relatives of the beloved Archbishop Sheen, filed the necessary paperwork to carry out the transfer. The transfer can be carried out as soon as the court grants approval.

Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria is immensely grateful for the collaboration of Mrs. Sheen Cunningham and the family. When Bishop Sheen’s body is transferred, Bishop Jenky can resume the cause for his beatification, which he surely will do post haste.

The thought is that Sheen’s beatification could happen shortly after his remains reach Peoria with, of course, the approval of Pope Francis.

Peoria also reports that the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints at the Vatican “has no objection to the transfer and looks forward to the resumption of the Cause. The Congregation has repeatedly expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the Diocese of Peoria over the last 14 years for promoting this Cause.”

Msgr. James Kruse, the vicar general of the Peoria diocese, said he’s “confident that the Archdiocese of New York will cooperate fully with the request of the family of Archbishop Sheen. On several occasions the archdiocese has declared its desire to cooperate with the wishes of the family. I cannot imagine that the archdiocese will oppose the family’s petition presented to the Court. It is our hope that the archdiocese will offer their consent to this petition in order to expedite matters.”

Amen! With heaven’s help, we can have an officially proclaimed Blessed Fulton Sheen, one of the greatest communicators of the Faith and evangelists in the Church in the 20th century, in very short order.