New York City, N.Y., Mar 5, 2019 / 16:26 pm
A New York appeals court has unanimously ruled that the earthly remains of Venerable Fulton Sheen should be moved to Peoria, Illinois – a ruling that could pave the way for the archbishop’s beatification unless there is another appeal.
A statement from the Diocese of Peoria on Tuesday welcomed the decision and called on the Archdiocese of New York “to end their failed legal contestation, which has only resulted in three rulings against them.”
“Further appeal is not only unprecedented but extremely costly to all the parties involved…Now is the time to end the legal tug-of-war and begin the final stages of the Cause of Beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen,” the Peoria statement said.
Joe Zwilling, spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, said the Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral disagree with the court decision and are considering their next steps, the Peoria Journal Star reported.
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.
However, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria suspended the beatification cause in September 2014 on the grounds that the Holy See expected Sheen’s remains to be in the Peoria diocese.
The Archdiocese of New York, however, has said that Vatican officials have said the Peoria diocese can pursue Sheen’s canonization regardless of whether his body is at rest there.
Sheen was born in Illinois in 1895, and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria at the age of 24. 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.