Saturday, September 20, 2014

Abp. Fulton Sheen Canonization Cause Suspended

The cause for canonization of Venerable Archbishop Sheen has been suspended...

Catholic Diocese of Peoria
Spalding Pastoral Center
419 N.E. Madison Avenue
Peoria, IL 61603
The Diocese of Peoria, Illinois
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Sheen Cause Suspended, Call for Prayer

It is with immense sadness that the Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, Bishop of Peoria and
President of the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation, announced today that the Cause for
Sheen’s beatification and canonization has for the foreseeable future been suspended. The
process to verify a possible miracle attributed to Sheen had been going extremely well, and only
awaited a vote of the Cardinals and the approval of the Holy Father. There was every indication
that a possible date for beatification in Peoria would have been scheduled for as early as the
coming year. The Holy See expected that the remains of Venerable Sheen would be moved to
Peoria where official inspection would be made and first class relics be taken. Subsequently, the
Archdiocese of New York denied Bishop Jenky’s request to move the body to Peoria. After
further discussion with Rome, it was decided that the Sheen Cause would now have to be
relegated to the Congregation’s historic archive.

Countless supporters especially from the local church in Central Illinois have given their time,
treasure and talent for this good work with the clear understanding that the body of Venerable
Sheen would return to the Diocese. Bishop Jenky was personally assured on several occasions
by the Archdiocese of New York that the transfer of the body would take place at the appropriate
time. New York’s change of mind took place as the work on behalf of the Cause had reached a
significant stage.

Bishop Jenky is what is technically called the “actor” of the Sheen Cause. The Diocese of Peoria
and the Sheen Foundation have prayed and labored for this good work for the last twelve years.
The Bishop is heartbroken not only for his flock in Peoria but also for the many supporters of the
Sheen Cause from throughout the world who have so generously supported Peoria’s efforts. It
should be noted, however, that saints are always made by God not by man. Efforts for many
causes have sometimes taken decades or even centuries. Bishop Jenky urges that those who
support the Sheen Cause continue their prayers that God’s will be made manifest.

The Diocese of Peoria, Illinois
Friday, September 5, 2014
Diocese of Peoria Presents Additional Clarifications Regarding the Suspension
of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Cause of Sainthood
For Immediate Release

PEORIA, IL - After an outpouring of great support for the actions taken by Most Reverend
Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of the Diocese of Peoria regarding the suspension of the
Archbishop Fulton Sheen Cause of Sainthood, the Diocese is providing additional clarifications.
According to the Chancellor of the Diocese of Peoria, Patricia Gibson, who has worked with the
Cause from the beginning, “Bishop Jenky only agreed to pursue the cause for canonization of
Fulton Sheen after he was assured by the Archdiocese of New York that they had no interest in
pursuing the cause but would support Peoria’s efforts. Specifically, Bishop Jenky was told by
Cardinal Egan in September 2002 that New York was not interested in pursuing the cause. He
also indicated that at the appropriate time he would facilitate the transfer of the body to Peoria.
In December 2004, Cardinal Egan again confirmed at a meeting in New York with Bishop Jenky
that he continued to support the efforts of the Cause and reassured him that he would work to
transfer the body at the appropriate time to be enshrined in the Peoria Cathedral.”

Based on this ongoing assurance, Bishop Jenky wrote to the Congregation for the Causes of
Saints in early 2005 asking for the body to be transferred to Peoria. They did not in any way
forbid the transfer of the body but simply indicated that it was not the appropriate time. The
Congregation indicated that “the transfer was not opportune at this time because the Diocesan
inquiry had just been started in the Diocese of Peoria.” With this inquiry complete and a miracle
being attributed to Sheen, now is an appropriate time.

On June 27, 2014, the Diocese of Peoria received the most recent communication from the
Archdiocese of New York. This letter from its lawyer definitively stated that it would never
allow the examination of the body, the securing of relics or the transfer of the body. Upon
receiving this shocking statement and consulting with advisors to the Sheen Cause, Bishop Jenky
believed that he had no choice but to stop his efforts and suspend the Cause.

Gibson added, “It is essential to realize that Bishop Jenky now feels a great responsibility to be
faithful to the thousands of supporters throughout Central Illinois, the nation and the world, in
regard to the status of the cause. From the beginning, Bishop Jenky sought assurances that New
York did not want to undertake the Cause and would support Peoria’s efforts. This assurance
was given before the process ever began. Bishop Jenky also confirmed that at the appropriate
time Fulton Sheen’s body would be transferred to his boyhood home and be placed in a shrine in
St. Mary’s Cathedral where he was ordained. Over the last twelve years, countless people have
offered their time and financial support for these efforts in order not only to spread the word
about Fulton Sheen’s virtues and holiness but also to prepare a shrine in Peoria upon his
beatification. After New York clearly turned down the Cause, Peoria was happy to put forth the
lengthy work and effort because of how much he is loved by the priests and lay faithful in this

Clearly Archbishop Sheen’s wishes for his final resting place could not have anticipated that he
would go through a canonization process led by his native Diocese of Peoria, after it was turned
down by the Archdiocese of New York. The Diocese of Peoria has heard from several relatives
this week regarding their desire that Bishop Jenky continue to work towards having the body
transferred as was presumed from the beginning.

The Chancellor, Patricia Gibson, further states, “The actions taken by Bishop Jenky this week
reflect his strong desire to be true to the countless supporters of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Cause who for over twelve years have labored and supported bringing the message of Fulton
Sheen and his sanctity to the world. Bishop Jenky continues to hope that the promises made
twelve years ago will be honored.”

Let us pray that these issues would be resolved and the matter be continued to move forward.

1 comment:

  1. I am not sure why New York will not allow the body to be move and/or why Peoria requires it to be moved as part of the process for canonization. The New York diocese is saying it is the wishes of Abp. Sheen to be buried in New York, and that is the will of the family too. Sheen was born in the diocese of Peoria, Illinois and when the Archdiocese of New York declined to proceed with the canonization process, the Bishop of Peoria came forward and got it moving (he is now "Venerable Abp. Sheen"). Allegedly, one of the conditions of the Bishop of Peoria was that Sheen's body be entombed in Peoria, which (again, allegedly) the Cardinal/Bishop of New York agreed to back in 2002.



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