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Archbishop Sheen's family seeks to move his remains, re-start beatification process

June 15, 2016

The family of the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen has asked the New York Supreme Court for approval to transfer his remains from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois.

The move could end an awkward ecclesiastical dispute, and allow for the prompt beatification of Archbishop Sheen, who was renowned for his writing and especially his preaching during the early years of television. 

The cause of beatification of Archbishop Sheen had been suspended in 2014, when the New York archdiocese refused to move his remains from the crypt of the cathedral for transfer to Peoria. The archdiocese had said that Archbishop Sheen had wished to be buried there, and his family had agreed; the family disputes both claims.

The Peoria diocese, where Fulton Sheen was born and ordained to the priesthood, had promoted the cause for his beatification. In April 2014, a Vatican panel approved the authenticity of a miracle attributed to his intercession, fulfilling the requirements for his beatification. However, the process ran into a roadblock when the Peoria diocese asked for the transfer of the archbishop's body in preparation for the beatification ceremony, and the New York archdiocese refused.

Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, who had made no secret of his dismay at the lack of cooperation from New York, said that he now hopes the archdiocese will not oppose the family's wishes in court, and will allow a prompt transfer. A spokesman for the New York archdiocese said that the archdiocese would allow the transfer-- with the proviso that Archbishop Sheen's remains should eventually be returned to St. Patrick's cathedral.

 

 
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  • Posted by: garedawg - Jun. 16, 2016 9:57 AM ET USA

    Couldn't they just borrow his body for a while, and then return it? This sounds like something that the Orthodox would fight over!

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jun. 15, 2016 5:32 PM ET USA

    It's going to be a case of "habeas corpus."