Cardinal Dolan: Please release the body of Fulton Sheen so the beatification process can continue!

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This petition created by Raymond de Souza, KM Knight of Magistral Grace of the Sovereign and Military Order of Malta


On Nov. 17, the Supreme Court of the State of New York ruled in favor of the request of the family of Archbishop Fulton Sheen to allow the transfer of his remains from his current resting place at St. Patrick's in New York City to Peoria, Illinois, where he was raised and ordained a priest. The transfer of the remains to the Peoria Diocese, which initiated the beatification process, is necessary for the archbishop's beatification to move forward. 

Days after the Court's decision, however, Cardinal Timothy Dolan filed an appeal of the decision, and requested an injunction blocking the transfer of the body of Archbishop Sheen until the appeal process is complete. That injunction was granted, ensuring the further delay of the beatification process.

The Peoria Diocese has said that, with progress already made in the cause and pending the approval of Pope Francis, a beatification could be celebrated soon after the arrival of the remains at St. Mary’s Cathedral, where a crypt is being prepared for his re-interment. 

St. Mary’s Cathedral is where Sheen was ordained a priest and a place he visited often during his lifetime. Sheen was a pioneer Defender of the Faith on radio and television. He was famous for his radio addresses on “The Catholic Hour”, a time that overlapped with his popular national television broadcasts of the 1950s. He won the 1951 Emmy Award for outstanding television personality for his show “Life Is Worth Living.” In 2011, the diocese submitted the case of a child, born without heartbeat or respiration, who revived after 61 minutes through the intercession of Sheen. 

In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI declared Sheen “Venerable,” meaning he lived a life of heroic virtues. The next steps would be beatification and canonization.

The only thing needed now is for Cardinal Dolan to accept the ruling of the New York State Supreme Court and consent to the release of his body to his family in Peoria where he was ordained a priest of Jesus Christ. Sheen is the first native American son to be a candidate to be canonized saint. 

Sign the petition respectfully requesting that Cardinal Dolan agree to have Archbishop Sheen's remains transferred to Peoria.