Saturday, December 10, 2016

Sheen beatification cause delayed again as New York archdiocese appeals decision to transfer remains

A New York judge has granted the New York archdiocese a temporary stay of a court order calling for the transfer of the remains of Archbishop Fulton Sheen from New York to Peoria, Illinois.

The New York archdiocese had opposed the moving of the late archbishop’s remains, and appealled the court order. 

Judge Arlene Bluth granted the stay pending a hearing on that appeal. 

An attorney for the New York archdiocese expressed confidence that the appeal would be successful; a spokesman for the Peoria diocese suggested that the appeal could be quickly dismissed.

Archbishop Sheen, who gained national fame as a preacher and television personality in the 1950s, is bured in the crypt of St. Patrick’s cathedral in New York, and the archdiocese had insisted that this was his wish. 

His family, however, showed that in his will the archbishop had indicated a desire to be buried in a cemetery in Queens, New York.

In her November ruling authorizing the transfer of the prelate’s remains, the judge said that it was “understandable and important” that the family now wished to have Archbishop Sheen buried in Peoria, since the move would resolve an ecclesiastical conflict that has blocked the cause for the archbishop’s beatification.

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.

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