“We have to deal with this in an honest and open way,” he said.
Bishop Tylka said he hopes the beatification will proceed, “and God willing, we’ll have another miracle and canonize him as a saint.”
Bishop Tylka said he is optimistic that Venerable Sheen and his legacy will stand the test of time.
“I believe the man should be made a saint,” Bishop Tylka said. “I have no power to make him a saint. What I can do, in my diocese, is hold him up as an exemplary model of discipleship to Jesus Christ.”
Sheen was born in Illinois in 1895, and was 24 when he was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria.
He was appointed auxiliary bishop of New York in 1951, and he remained there until his appointment as Bishop of Rochester in 1966. He retired in 1969, and moved back to New York City until his death in 1979.
The Peoria diocese opened the cause for Sheen’s canonization in 2002, after Archdiocese of New York said it would not explore the case. In 2012, Benedict XVI recognized the heroic virtues of the archbishop.
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints promulgated a decree in July 2019 recognizing a miracle attributed to Venerable Sheen's intercession, which allowed for his beatification.
The miracle involves the unexplained recovery of James Fulton Engstrom, a boy born apparently stillborn in September 2010 to Bonnie and Travis Engstrom of the Peoria-area town of Goodfield. He showed no signs of life as medical professionals tried to revive him. The child’s mother and father prayed to Archbishop Sheen to heal their son.
The now-postponed beatification had been scheduled following legal battles in civil courts over the location of Venerable Sheen's body. His corpse was transferred to the Peoria cathedral in June 2019 after a protracted series of suits involving the archbishop's niece and closest living relative, Joan Sheen Cunningham; the Peoria diocese; and the New York archdiocese, where his body had first been interred.
A spokesperson for the Rochester diocese did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNA.
(Story continues below)
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