Albany, N.Y., May 6, 2019 / 16:01 pm
The New York Court of Appeals has dismissed an appeal of an earlier judgement allowing Venerable Fulton Sheen’s remains to be moved to the Cathedral of St. Mary in Peoria, in accordance with his family’s wishes.
The May 2 dismissal of the Archdiocese of New York’s appeal could pave the way for the Illinois-born archbishop’s beatification.
“After almost three years of litigation, the New York Archdiocese’ legal arguments have now been rejected at all three levels of the New York state court system,” the Diocese of Peoria said May 6.
“Although the New York Archdiocese may technically have legal options remaining, they are contrary to the wishes of Archbishop Sheen and his family, and would serve no genuine purpose except to delay the eventual transfer of Archbishop Sheen’s remains,” it added.
Archbishop Sheen served as host of the “Catholic Hour” radio show and the television show “Life is Worth Living.” He authored many books, with proceeds supporting foreign missions. He headed the Society for the Propagation of the Faith at one point in his life, and continued to be a leading figure among Catholics in the U.S. until his death.
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 New York archdiocese, 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.