Originally set for December 21st, Fulton Sheen’s beatification has now been postponed at “request of a few members of the Bishop’s conference.”
Last month, Fulton Sheen’s home Diocese of Peoria announced that his beatification was set for December 21st by Pope Francis following the recognition of a miraculous recovery of a still-born infant attributed to his intercession.
Yesterday, the Diocese of Peoria announced Sheen’s beatification was “postponed” by the Holy See following the “request of a few members of the Bishop’s conference.”
“With deep regret, Bishop Daniel Jenky, C.S.C, Bishop of Peoria, announces that he has been informed by the Holy See that the beatification of Fulton Sheen will be postponed.”
The Diocese explicitly stated the Holy See’s postponement is in no way the result of any allegation of abuse or misconduct.
“In our current climate, it is important for the faithful to know there has never been, nor is there now, any allegation against Sheen involving the abuse of a minor. At no time has his life of virtue ever been calling into question. The life of Fulton Sheen has been thoroughly and meticulously investigated. At every stage, it has been demonstrated definitively that he was an exemplary model of Christian conduct.”
CNA sources said that delay is also not related to a 2007 lawsuit alleging Sheen covered up abuse that was dismissed as seeking publicity and was “littered with wholly irrelevant, inflammatory, and embarrassing facts concerning defendants and non-defendants alike that have no bearing on the actions brought.”
“The allegation from the U.S. lawsuit has been on the internet for ten years. Every thing said of Sheen’s life has been examined during the process for beatification.”
The Peoria press release did not reveal which US Bishops requested the “unfortunate” delay or what prompted the request. They are “confident” however that “any additional examination will only further prove Fulton Sheen’s worthiness of Beatification and Canonization.”
“The Diocese of Peoria has no doubt that Fulton Sheen, who brought so many souls to Jesus Christ in his lifetime, will be recognized as a model of holiness and virtue.”
Currently there is no information on when the beatification will be rescheduled, and both the USCCB and Diocese of Peoria declined to comment.