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Court: Body of Bishop Sheen Stays at St. Pat's — For Now

Image: Court: Body of Bishop Sheen Stays at St. Pat's — For Now

By    |   Monday, 12 February 2018 02:12 PM

The body of beloved New York Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen will remain interred at St. Patrick's Cathedral until a legal battle over his final resting place is resolved, a New York state court has ruled.

The Diocese of Peoria and Sheen's niece want his mortal remains go to the Illinois city where, in 1919, he was ordained to the priesthood. And in 2016, a New York Supreme Court judge ruled in favor of Joan Sheen Cunningham's request.

But last week an appellate court found key evidence that Sheen wanted his body to stay in New York was disregarded and ruled the case should be reheard.

Sheen, who gained nationwide fame in the 1950s and '60s on television with his folksy, matter-of-fact parables, was dubbed by Time magazine as "the golden-voiced Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen, U.S. Catholicism's famed proselytizer."

In recent years, the Peoria diocese has pressed the Vatican to have Sheen canonized as a saint and argues that that cannot happen until his remains are returned.

"We regret that further litigation is required and has to continue," Msgr. James Kruse, the vicar general of the Peoria Diocese, told The National Catholic Register. "We in the diocese are confident that the new hearing will result in a favorable decision for Joan Cunningham's petition."

Joseph Zwilling, the director of communications for the Archdiocese of New York, said in a statement obtained by the New York Law Journal:

"While the case is being sent back to a lower court for a further hearing, we believe that Archbishop Sheen clearly stated his intention in his will, written just days before his death, that he be buried in New York, where he conducted his ministry and where he lived most of his years, including at the time of his death."

In a column written for Newsmax in 2016, Monsignor Hilary Franco, who was assistant to Sheen, said: Archbishop Sheen desired to be buried at St. Patrick's. He got his wish. Let's venerate him first and foremost by honoring that choice.

Sheen hosted the NBC radio show The Catholic Hour from 1930–1950, then moved to television with the show "Life Is Worth Living from 1951–1957, and later "The Fulton Sheen Program" from 1961–1968.

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The body of beloved New York Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen will remain interred at St. Patrick's Cathedral until a legal battle over his final resting place is resolved, a New York state court has ruled.
us, new york, court, fulton sheen, body, st. patricks cathedral
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2018-12-12
Monday, 12 February 2018 02:12 PM
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