.- The Diocese of Peoria has resumed its promotion of Archbishop Fulton Sheenâs cause for beatification despite its dispute with the Archdiocese of New York over the final resting place of the great evangelistâs remains.
In November 2010 the diocese said it was no longer in a position to continue its nine years of work on Archbishop Sheenâs beatification and canonization. The Archdiocese of New Yorkâs failure to transfer Sheenâs body to a cathedral tomb in his hometown of Peoria had upset the diocese and stalled plans to create a national shrine for him there.
Now Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria has announced that the Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation has resumed its efforts to advance Sheenâs cause.
âAfter further consultation, and having heard the desire of the faithful to see the cause advance, Bishop Jenky, as president of the Sheen Foundation, is happy to work with the postulator in Rome and is hopeful that the cause will advance quickly,â the foundation said in a Jan. 27 statement.
The foundation added that the Archdiocese of New Yorkâs failure to fulfill a verbal promise to transfer Sheenâs remains caused âgreat upset and even scandal among those who had so long supported the cause.â The people and clergy of the Diocese of Peoria were âparticularly distressed,â it said.
Patricia Gibson, chancellor of the Diocese of Peoria and an officer of the Sheen Foundation, explained that Bishop Jenky felt compelled at the time to pause the beatification effort âin light of the months of unresolved questions regarding the transfer of the remains.â
âEven though this issue remains unsettled, Bishop Jenky received encouragement from cardinals, bishops and the faithful from around the world, and especially from within his own diocese,â she said. Bishop Jenky has asked the Vatican congregation for saints to help resolve the question of the tomb, while also definitively deciding to continue the foundationâs work to advance Archbishop Sheenâs cause.
Msgr. Stanley Deptula, executive director of the Sheen Foundation, said he was âso happyâ to see the foundationâs work continue in Peoria.
âSheen was born in Peoria. His cause for sainthood was begun in Peoria. And I look forward to seeing this good work completed in Peoria,â he commented.
Sheen has a significant history in both Peoria and New York City. He first served as an altar boy in Peoriaâs cathedral and was ordained a priest for the diocese in 1919. After international studies, he briefly served as a pastor there in 1926.
He was ordained as an auxiliary bishop in New York City in 1951 and broadcast his famous television program âLife is Worth Livingâ from there. He was Bishop of Rochester from 1966 until his 1969 retirement and he was buried in the crypt of St. Patrickâs Cathedral in New York City after his death in 1979.
Sheen was one of the first national television personalities and an author of bestselling works on Christianity and Jesus Christ.
More information about his life is available at the Sheen Foundation website: http://www.ArchbishopSheenCause.org