Fulton Sheen’s Beatification put on hold at the request of “some bishops”.

Via LifeSite:

BREAKING: Vatican postpones beatification of Fulton Sheen after request by some US bishops

VATICAN CITY, December 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, beloved by generations of American Catholics, has been abruptly put on hold by the Vatican.

“The Holy See decided to postpone the date of Beatification, at the request of a few members of the Bishop’s Conference who have asked for further consideration,” according to a press release from the Diocese of Peoria, where Sheen’s beatification ceremony was to take place.

“In our current climate, it is important for the faithful to know that there has never been, nor is there now, any allegation against Sheen involving the abuse of a minor,” continues the statement. “At no time has his life of virtue ever been called into question.”

Peoria Bishop Danial Jenky “is firmly convinced of the great holiness of the Venerable Servant of God and remains confident that Sheen will be beatified. Bishop Jenky has every intention of continuing the Cause, but no further date for Beatification has been discussed.”

Sheen’s beatification was to take place in less than three weeks, on December 21, at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria, Illinois, where Sheen was ordained to the priesthood on September 20, 1919.


Some bishops?

Yeah, some bishops!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. ArthurH says:

    If I were a bettin’ man…. : A NYC prelate might just come to mind

  2. acardnal says:

    To quote my favorite blogger, “This is B. as in B. and S. as in S. “

  3. Mark W says:

    How many SJ bishops are there in the U.S.?

    Oh wait, Chicago. You don’t actually need an SJ…

  4. Gab says:

    All I can do is sigh. I’ve got nothing left.

  5. Mark says:

    Could you please explain why anyone would be against this? What is it about Archbishop Sheen that people would want to stop this. I never understood why the Diocese of NY fought so hard to keep his body either. None of this makes sense to me, can you offer any clarification?

  6. Sean says:

    From what I have heard the canonization process may dig up some things about Cardinal Spellman that New York doesn’t want uncovered

  7. scoot says:

    If he gets beatified it’ll be a miracle, then they can make him formally a saint!

  8. Rob in Maine says:

    Santo Subito!

  9. Spade says:

    That’s rather uncharitable of the press release. Dolan may be overweight but it isn’t kind to refer to him as “a few members”.

  10. Suburbanbanshee says:

    The Peoria folks just wanted to get it done in the 100th anniversary year of his ordination. What the heck. Rochester is bad news, Buffalo is bad news, this was going to be good news, and then this. Ridiculous.

  11. abdiesus says:

    I agree with all of the above comments! ;)

  12. Matthew says:

    What am I going to do with plane tickets to Peoria in December now?

  13. mabvet says:

    Grrrrrrr. The same US Bishops who were conspicuously silent during Roe vs. Wade. It’s no wonder why the Church is hemorrhaging sheep.

  14. Maximilian75 says:

    *cough* cardinaltobin *cough*

  15. adriennep says:

    This just stinks. “A few members” of US bishops can halt a set beatification date? They are so vindictive of Sheen they had to rain on the parade. It would have been so perfect to have the date 100 years’ anniversary of his priesthood. Fulton Sheen was envied for his celebrity and reviled for his conservative anti-Communism. And it’s a good thing he was so brilliant because otherwise he would not have survived the clerical stench. We have to vividly remember the story of him being touchingly embraced by John Paul II on his first visit to America. JPII only wanted to meet him!

  16. BrerJason says:

    Offer it up ;) Sorry, couldn’t resist. Thankfully I only had to cancel a 9hr drive and a hotel… but I would recommend going ahead with your pilgrimage. I made a trip there in October, and was very pleased. The displays at the “museum” were really nice, and the renovation of the Cathedral was extremely well done. They have some great relics there as well. The volunteers at both places were also extremely helpful and nice.

  17. Charles E Flynn says:

    CNA has an update, concerning allegations made in a lawsuit initially filed in 2007.

    From Archbishop Sheen was accused of covering up clerical sexual abuse:

    The lawsuit was initially filed federally, and dismissed, and the lawyer who filed it was sanctioned by the court, which suggested that the suit was 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 suit was subsequently filed in state court and then dismissed.

  18. Mightnotbeachristiantou says:

    What were people’s plans?

  19. JustaSinner says:

    Wow! Just Wow! The Evil lurks large amongst the American Bishops.

  20. Charles E Flynn says:

    And now a contradictory update.

    From Updated: Sheen beatification postponement not related to 2007 cover-up allegation, sources say

    Peoria, Ill., Dec 3, 2019 / 02:43 pm (CNA).- The delay of the beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen is not related to a 2007 allegation that Bishop Fulton Sheen witnessed and covered up an act of clerical sexual abuse, sources close to the beatification told CNA.

    [story concludes] This story is developing and has been updated. It will continue to be updated as information becomes available.

  21. The Cobbler says:

    It will all come out. It’s almost hilarious people forget that. If it doesn’t come out now, it will come out at the final judgement in front of everyone who ever lived. Better to get it over with sooner than later, if you ask me.

  22. albinus1 says:

    ““In our current climate, it is important for the faithful to know that there has never been, nor is there now, any allegation against Sheen involving the abuse of a minor,” continues the statement. “At no time has his life of virtue ever been called into question.”

    Good grief. This is like an attorney saying, “My client has never beat his wife.” I’m unaware that there were ever any allegations of impropriety against Ven. Bishop Sheen. By going out of their way to deny something that hasn’t been an issue, they have raised the possibility in people’s minds when it wasn’t there before. Very slimy and underhanded.

  23. Worth noting here is that many people were initially (and justifiably) concerned that the date was not announced far enough in advance, not allowing sufficient preparation for what should have been a big event, and of course given that we just had our first snow of the season here in New York, the wisdom of having a beatification in the dead of winter does seem questionable. Given that, if they had simply moved it to the summer, it wouldn’t have smelled as bad. I am even more convinced of Venerable Sheen’s place in heaven now, since it seems that the demons won’t even let him alone after his death. If this keeps up, the faithful will eventually have to declare him a saint by acclamation.

  24. Just Some Guy says:

    Alright you people at the red hat report, be sure to take some notes.

  25. oledocfarmer says:

    You can’t make this shizzle up!

    Leaving aside for a moment the sketchy backgrounds of at least a plurality of our “mitered heads”….I do not recall a single note of hesitation prior to the “canonization” of the hapless Hamlet, Paul VI.

    Pope Montini, methinks, is an untold story for the ages. That strange “promotion” to Milan, featuring a blubbering Giovanni Battista waiting at the Termini for the one-way midnight train outta Dodge. Oh the secrets there….a goodly number of which I imagine a certain Aldo Moro took to the grave.

    You know ole Spellman had the reputation of the classic hardliner, but with all the more recent revelations, I bet he was in on the infiltration game all along. His full-throated opposition to the “reform” strangely and suddenly melted like
    wet snow in the warm 60s sun….almost as if on cue. It is well documented that he and Eleanor Roosevelt made an uneasy peace through mutually assured destruction: he wouldn’t expose her kinda-a-lil-butch women friends if she didn’t reveal his Broadway chorus chums.

    Folks, God is in His Heaven, and Christ remains in and with His Church as She suffers Her Passion. But the rot is so long-established and thoroughly entrenched that it will probably take Divine intervention to heal Her. If we synthesize all the disparate threads, I’d guess that intervention is coming sooner rather than later…maybe quite soon.

    Could the Church ever have survived the last 100 years if She were not of Divine origin? To ask the question is to answer it.

  26. moosix1974 says:

    The fact that there has been so much resistance and so many obstacles to his beatification is a sure sign to me that the principalities and dominions are against this. I think he will be one extremely powerful intercessor and many conversions and healings will come through Fulton Sheen and Satan knows this. He WILL be beatified and he WILL be canonized. In God’s time is will come to pass. But this is a trial for the faithful and we must ramp up the prayers and fasting. Ven. Fulton Sheen will do far more in Heaven than here on earth and that’s saying a lot!

  27. mo7 says:

    We think these times are sooo modern, but lately stories like this sound like lives of the medieval / renaissance saints, full of good guys and bad guys and all kinds of intrigue like the bishops that oppose one another on a chess board.

  28. CasaSanBruno says:

    mo7: Yes, Renaissance priests and bishops… without the Renaissance.

  29. Elizabeth D says:

    They need to consider bringing back the “devil’s advocate” role or similar. Let it be handled discreetly though so as not to “suggest” problems to the public. Also, they need to consider a longer waiting period before canonization. What if someone makes up a “credible” claim against, say, Blessed Stanley Rother? So much mud being thrown about, for so many motives. And real victims deserve to be believed (I’m not sure I understand how large amounts of money heals though).

    I’m not saying it isn’t dismaying. But this is a teachable moment. I can think of a whole array of lessons from this moment, for the sainthood process, for bishops, for all of us, etc.

    [“Devil’s Advocate” was the nickname for the office of the Promoter of the Faith. His role was to check the accuracy of causes presented by the Promoter of the Cause and to find if there were omissions that ought to have been presented. The role of checking on causes is now fulfilled by the Promoter of Justice. Some people think that because the office once nicknamed “Devil’s Advocate” was altered during the pontificate of John Paul II, therefore no one is checking the legitimacy of causes. That isn’t true. It is very important that causes be as thorough as humanly possible. In the cases of historic causes (where the Servant of God has been deceased long enough so that no one now alive knew him), if there is a large body of material it is necessary to make sure that there isn’t something out in some drawer or forgotten in a box in the back of an archive. The same goes for causes for people known by people still living. All pertinent testimonies should be sought out and properly recorded. Also, in modern times there is often far more material potentially available. That takes time to gather and examine.]

  30. Fr_Sotelo says:


    Fr. Z publishes a post about Fulton Sheen’s beatification being postponed, and you launch into a broadside against St. Paul VI and Cardinal Francis Spellman of New York? Is the postponement of Sheen’s beatification supposed to provoke some kind of resentment against Paul VI and Spellman?

    And what gives with this speculation that Paul VI was a practicing homosexual (with Aldo Moro?) and that Cardinal Spellman practiced pederasty with Broadway choristers?

    I imagine you were trying to make a constructive point, but it comes across like a Hedda Hopper column of Hollywood gossip.

    Besides, failed popes or cardinals are not proof that the Christ’s Church is filled with rot. There might be rot with some of the hierarchy, but Popes and cardinals do not equal the Church of Christ.

  31. Rob83 says:

    I suspect this came out of the ad limina visit the New York bishops recently had in Rome only because this news broke around the same time rumors began flying that the local bishop’s resignation was imminently to be announced (Wednesday if said rumors are true).

    It may not be the New York archdiocese, one could also see this coming from Rochester, the see where Sheen was briefly bishop in the late 1960s, as all the New York dioceses are facing heavy lawsuits over abuse cases and in addition Rochester has declared bankruptcy. I’m not aware of anything implicating Sheen, but he does have the misfortune to have been bishop when a good number of the accused men were in active ministry and doubtless the lawyers are going over everything in Rochester with a fine-toothed comb.

  32. Ultrarunner says:

    Rob83, I’m afraid you are correct.

    As a huge fan of the late Archbishop, a man whose gift of catechesis was second to none in his day, I absolutely abhore the logic this postponement triggers in mind.

    Archbishop Fulton Sheen was Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York from 1951 to 1966 and Bishop of Rochester, New York from 1966 to 1969. Given this, there is little doubt he would have been privy to any number of instances of priestly sexual abuse during his tenure as bishop. In February of 2019, New York passed the New York Child Victims Act which abolished the statute of limitations in the state for the victims of sexual abuse for a period of one year. As such, the Act could result in a case being filed alleging instances of priestly sexual abuse and/or cover up under Sheen’s tenure. There also could be archived files from that period relating to abusive priests which could also damage his cause if they were not handled by today’s standards. In light of the truly enormous legal cost and effort put forth by Cardinal Dolan to keep him at St Patrick’s in NY, it appears Dolan may have been trying to prevent investigation into Sheen’s past, possibly relating to his handling of sexual abuse among priests under him while he was a bishop in New York. Dolan’s actions potentially speak volumes in light of this indefinite postponement. It’s frankly very difficult to imagine how Sheen can possibly be canonized until the New York Child Victims Act expires in 2020 and all possible cases against the Church in New York have been adjudicated.

    It’s very unfortunate, but Bishop Sheen’s international popularity and the prevailing standard of the day to prevent scandal would have undoubtedly found him fully incapable of publicly acknowledging priestly sexual abuse under his watch.

    It’s an absolutely horrible set of circumstances for his cause and potentially his legacy. Hopefully, some good will come from it.

  33. oledocfarmer says:

    Thank you for your comment. You make very good points. I foolishly wrote out of anger and frustration and could have worded things better.

    At the same time, credible reports are credible reports. For years I dismissed these reports as “tabloid gossip”and gave everyone the benefit of the doubt. These are all men of God, dang it!

    Until…several years ago when the world began its inexorable capsize. With all the new, factual revelations about infiltration, rampant corruption, and unbridled abuse, I have been re-examining these persistent, consistent reports. When a so-called pope (with a questionable election process and whom history may well ultimately conclude is an antipope) starts fiddling with dogma and calling black white, anything suddenly becomes possible. One cannot dismiss any credible reports at this late hour.

    To the points:

    Paul VI/Aldo Moro:

    First off, I am not in any way criticizing Humanae Vitae. HV is a glittering jewel in Paul VI’s record, but of course he cannot really lay claim to it because at its heart it simply restated unchangeable dogma AND credible reports suggest that individuals now beatified or canonized intervened forcefully with him and may well have written the document itself. That story is not yet written.

    BUT his tap-dancy, coquettish build-up to the release of the document (where he coyly and repeatedly suggested that the Church’s teaching might change) did him no credit. It was as ignominious as the document itself was glorious.

    It is quite true that persistent , credible reports link these two men in a romantic relationship, but I was not referring so much to that scandal as to PM Moro’s chairing the commission that investigated the OTHER sexual allegations about and against Paul VI in the mid-1970s.

    I think one must connect some dots. We have a Pope who spastically lurched from devastating decision to devastating decision, from disastrous episcopal appointment to disastrous episcopal appointment, all for well over a decade. A pope who ravaged the sacred temple and its associated traditions in a manner in which no preceding pope would have dared even to consider. And the best that most authorities can say is the conclusion of Pastor John Neuhaus: “No one knows why Paul VI let ‘them’ do what ‘they’ did to the Mass.”

    Wayell…we have credible reports of recurrent scandal being madly and heatedly denied AND years and years of cataclysmic (in a bad way), mind-boggling executive decision-making. My money is on blackmail, The explanation that best unites the collective whole is usually the correct explanation.

    Cardinal Spellman: one wants to like this fellow, but I guess that’s beside the point. Leaving aside the revelatory, shameful milk-subsidy scandal, one cannot reasonably dismiss all the consistent, credible testimony about Cdl Spellman’s private life. As a general rule it is usually best that one turn a blind eye to other people’s ascetical struggles and focus on one’s own. Severity with oneself; meekness for all others.

    But nowadays with everything crashing down and the American church’s looming moral and financial bankruptcy, one cannot turn away from these prominent cases. There are lessons to be learned…not least of which is that those in positions of authority must at all costs avoid personally compromising situations. AND we need to stay awake to who and what has internally attacked and is internally attacking the Church to stanch the hemorrhage.

  34. oledocfarmer says:

    Sorry…I left out the most important point! A sign of genius?! No?

    I raised the issue of Paul VI in the context of “some bishops” asking to delay the beatification of Archbishop Ven Sheen because “there might be an abuse allegation” somewhere in the past. I was pointing out the irony that no one made a peep about Paul VI’s looming “canonization,” and that in that case there is a lot of extant evidence of a very sordid history.

    I addressed Cdl Spellman because a prior commentator suggested that fear of exposing Spellman’s private life might be the reason that folks would prefer to delay the Sheen beatification. That was my mistake..,I should have addressed that poster more directly.

  35. Ms. M-S says:

    You may correct me, and no doubt will, if I’m wrong, but I believe that when Fr. Z says “Please share!” he means for readers to share this with other interested parties we know rather than to share any old rumors, tenuous gossip, or hastily disinterred scandals in the comments. Cui bono?

    [Note well that the “Please share” is next to the social media sharing buttons.]

  36. Amerikaner says:

    McCarrick dossier – secret.
    China document – secret.
    Names of bishops who stalled Sheen beatification – secret.

  37. eulogossusan says:

    Suburbanbanshee- Is there some new bad news from Rochester that I don’t know? I have been away for a week. Googling did not immediately produce anything. Please reassure me we aren’t going to lose Bishop Matano just yet!

  38. oledocfarmer says:


  39. The Act of Canonization is not what shoots a person to Heaven in a Roman Canon. If Sheen is there already then he is there without a public proclamation that he is. There are a multitude of saints in Heaven that have never been canonized but that doesn’t make them less of a saint.

    I have a cousin that is referred to as “The Little Cajun Saint”, Charlene Marie Richard. There are several miracles attributed to her but the process to open her canonization has been grueling and slow. My great grandmother, who was also a Richard only received the Blessed Sacrament the last three month of her life; it was her only food… from Heaven. She had a little Altar built in her humble home and prayed a lot. No one has canonized either one of these people but in my own heart I feel that they are in Heaven. I feel free to say that because that is just what Pope John Paul II said of St. Pio before his cause was opened.

  40. Gaetano says:

    The latest New York state child abuse amendments went into effect this past August. Illinois adopted similar laws in 2017.
    These laws reopened the statute for child sex abuse complaints. There has been a flood of cases in New York (over 400) in just a few months.
    Prudence may dictate that we postpone any action until the window for past cases closes.

  41. momoften says:

    First of all, weird that this was left in the last moments before canonization. And, if it is really
    relevant and valid (I doubt) the Bishops who asked for this to be halted should have made the announcement themselves. I have a very bad feeling about this.

  42. oledocfarmer says:

    I think you’re exactly right that the “Please Share” means share the news with others. But I think when comments are enabled, there’s a least an implicit invitation to provide a comment if one so chooses. I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive options.

    I’m sensitive to what you say about rumors, gossip, etc., things which under ordinary circumstances should be studiously avoided. But we’re not living in ordinary circumstances. And these matters which were once considered mere rumor and gossip are now more fully vetted and substantiated. Just an opinion. I think reasonable folks can disagree.

  43. veritas vincit says:

    I think recycling old rumors when they are not related to the matter at hand (Cardinal Spellman and Pope St Paul VI) is a bad idea, probably not helpful to anyone’s virtues at best, and perhaps the sin of calumny at worst.

    But I am sad to hear that the beatification of Bishop Sheen has been caught up in the abuse crisis in the Church. The charge seems to be, like many other good men (such as the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno), he didn’t do enough to stop the abuse. In hindsight, many years later, that’s not an easy call to get right.

  44. veritas vincit says:

    Just to be clear, I’m not equating Pope St Paul VI (arguably not the strongest of Popes, but a spiritual and virtuous man, who did after all give us Humana Vitae) with Cardinal Spellman.

  45. iPadre says:

    It is important to know who objected and the reason or reasons. Too many speculating online and some of it is calumny.

  46. oledocfarmer says:

    Thank you. I am sympathetic to your position as explained above.

    The sin of calumny is not involved because (1) I do not have malice and (2) I do not know that what I said is false. In fact I believe it to be unfortunately true.

    I do not think I have sinned by detraction because I think I have a valid reason for discussing these matters. And that reason is that people need to WAKE UP. Brushing things under the rug —particularly “things” that have been revealed by credible persons at great personal cost — is no act of virtue in any respect.

    The cancer is metastasizing as we speak. To effectively cure the disease, we need to consider the full story….particularly the ugliest, most distressing parts. Some say that these matters should be addressed by those in authority, but wasn’t it Abp Sheen himself who said that the “laity will have to save the Church.” That the religious, clergy, and hierarchy would be of little or no use?

    God alone judges. I personally sorrow over these poor men’s lives….for their own sufferings and the sufferings they secondarily caused. I pray God that we can all be together in Heaven one day.

    That’s a different matter from focusing on the here and now. Let’s get the Truth out sooner rather than later —discretely if possible —but let’s get it out however it comes. That’s when healing can finally begin.

  47. Lurker 59 says:

    Truly shameful.

    Let us turn this into a blessing that will only all the more condemn those that stand in the way of Christ and His Saints.

    One of the problems with the modern canonization process, especially individuals of the contemporary period, is that it disrupts the formation of an organic cultus for the individual. That Archbishop Sheen’s beatification has been “paused” (skuttled?) should be taken as an opportunity to further develop the cultus, spread Archbishop Sheen’s fame, and increase recourse to his intercession before the throne of God.

    So two easy suggestions: First, still get together and gather as one had planned in Illinois. Still celebrate his life, his devotion to Christ, and the way that Christ, through him, has blessed your own life personally. Gather together, celebrate, and pray — develop that cultus! Secondly, spread his name. Make it a point to bring him up in conversation, introduce people to him. Might I suggest that, currently, for $2.00 US one can get Archbishop Sheen’s THE LIFE OF CHRIST for Kindle on Amazon? https://www.amazon.com/Life-Christ-Fulton-J-Sheen-ebook/dp/B07VKDWV6R/ Do you have a copy? Do you know someone that could use a copy for Christmas?

  48. Lurker 59 raises a good point about the local cult; one of the local bishop’s objections to G. K. Chesterton’s cause was the lack of a local cult.

  49. Traductora says:

    I think the problem with the local cult is partially attributable to the whole dispute over moving him from NY to Illinois. In truth, I think he should have been left in New York, and it would also, btw, have been very easy to establish a devotion to him there. He was wildly popular; in college, I worked at a Schrafft’s on 43rd St, right behind the old St Agnes Church, where he preached before he was exiled to Rochester (where he was at the time that I worked there. But you could still see the loudspeakers that they had had to install on the sidewalk in front of St Agnes because the church was too small to accommodate the flocks of people who came to hear him preach.

    But his type of preaching and his type of orthodoxy and devotion was not something Spellman wanted then, and certainly not something any of the recent Archbishops of NY – with the exception of Cardinal O’Connor – want to allow people to focus on now.

    Sorry, this is all about jealousy and revenge. And, btw, we don’t know if the mystery bishops are even currently bishops…or retired or otherwise removed bishops who had a grudge against him.

  50. carndt says:

    All in God’s judgement whether Abp. Sheen is in Heaven.
    I for one would not want to be canonized by this pontificate or want my life thrown around like a marble by what consists in the majority of the US Bishops.
    I pray to Abp. Sheen because of his holiness not because of a title.
    I believe without seeing.

  51. iPadre says:

    oledocfarmer, I Haden’t read your comments when I posted. So they were not directed to you. There are posts on different blogs and social media that I was referring to.

  52. oledocfarmer says:

    Thank you. I was “obliqueishly” replying to someone farther up the chain who had earlier pulled the pin on the calumny bomb.

    It wasn’t clear to whom you were referring, and I didn’t take offense. In fact, I thought by speaking in generalities, you were specifically trying to avoid calling out individuals and were therefore being very kind.

    I could learn from your diplomacy. A LOT!

  53. albinus1 says:

    “Lurker 59 raises a good point about the local cult; one of the local bishop’s objections to G. K. Chesterton’s cause was the lack of a local cult.”

    Lack of a local cult sure wasn’t considered an impediment to the canonization of Pope Paul VI.

  54. oledocfarmer says:

    It’s probably even money that every official act of this pontificate will eventually have to be revisited and reviewed. I for one am going along with things as though everything is copacetic, though I know it ain’t. But it will be. In God’s good time and at God’s pace.

  55. veritas vincit says:

    oledocfarmer: ‘Thank you. I was “obliqueishly” replying to someone farther up the chain who had earlier pulled the pin on the calumny bomb.’

    LOL! You probably meant me! Rest assured, I was not intending to accuse you, as I do not know your intent. I simply was issuing a friendly caution, including to myself. I had heard at least some rumors about one of the prelates mentioned and had come close to repeating them myself. But they are not relevant.

    I would very much like to know, however, who asked for the beatification to be placed “on hold” and why. That is the real issue.

  56. oledocfarmer says:

    Thank you for your kind words. You were clearly raised right by good God-fearin’ parents!

    You are very right. I could have chosen my words better, and I could/should have moderated my tone. I guess I’m just fed up with this pregnant, perpetual, solipsistic siiiiiillllllleeeeennnnccceee. About all of this stuff. It’s so patronizing. So annoying.

    I’m ready for those things spoken in darkness to be shouted from the rooftops. If somebody can get McCarrick to start spilling his guts, we can start laying the axe to the root of this relentlessly invasive, perfidious poison ivy.

  57. oledocfarmer says:


    In fact, as late as the 1990s, the Argentine bishops (of all people) issued a position paper entitled something like, “Paul VI a Saint? You Have to be Kidding.” No foolin.

  58. robtbrown says:

    It was Bishop Salvatore Matano of Rochester who asked to delay the beatification of Fulton Sheen.

    Sheen could be named in a report by the attorney general, or accused of insufficiently handling allegations of abuse during his tenure as Rochester’s bishop (1966 to 1969).

  59. wmeyer says:

    Shame, shame, shame. Bryan Boyle rightly characterizes this as a travesty.

    DC is not the only swamp in America.

  60. Kathleen10 says:

    I am still disappointed Jacinta and Francisco Martos were canonized during this pontificate.
    I have no idea what is going on with this delay, but if these guys were intentionally trying to make the church look ridiculous they couldn’t do a better job.

  61. Lurker 59 says:

    To be sure, I was not raising the issue of the existence of a local cult, but rather suggesting that this all should be an opportunity for the cultus to grow and expand. Canonization isn’t the beginning of something but is the recognition of something that already exists. When an individual is “raised to the altars”, this is not something that permits the faithful to now pray but it is rather the taking of a local cultus, often a private cultus, and making it a universal public cultus.

    I STRONGLY recommend that anyone who is interested in this particular cause, instead of thinking that they have to wait for Rome, to simply partake and engage in this particular cultus. Learn about the Archbishop, spread his fame, ask for him to intercede. NONE of this is a setback, putting on the breaks, hesitation, for the expansion and promotion of the cultus. That is why I said it is so shameful because the episcopate is only harming themselves in this.

    Again, if anyone cares about this cause, let me suggest stopping right now and praying that the Archbishop might interceed before the throne of God that we might have holy, courageous, and God fearing priests.

  62. albinus1 says:

    “Sheen could be named in a report by the attorney general, or accused of insufficiently handling allegations of abuse during his tenure as Rochester’s bishop (1966 to 1969).”

    As we’ve seen before, what in retrospect now looks like “insufficiently handling allegations” may have been, at the time, in keeping with the mainstrean of then-current psychological thinking.

  63. Semper Gumby says:

    News Release – Catholic Diocese of Peoria – December 3, 2019

    Catholic Diocese of Peoria Announces a Postponement in
    Beatification of Venerable Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen

    “…at the request of a few members of the Bishop’s Conference…”

    “Since a few members of the Bishop’s Conference have requested a delay…”


  64. Mojoron says:

    I read in the NCR that it was “a” bishop from Rochester, NY, Bp Natano. Apparently, he’s worried that Bp Sheen may be caught up in the NY AG’s investigation into priests of the Diocese of NYC.

  65. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Nothing newsy that is against Matano. It is all this abuse investigation thing.

    I suppose that if everyone in Rochester is going to be dragged through the mud, there is no reason to give additional raw meat to detractors of the Church. But they could have just said that.

  66. iPadre says:

    Bishop Matano is the one who requested it be delayed. He is a prudent man, a good man and I trust that he doesn’t have an agenda. The Bishop was ordained a priest in my diocese, Providence.


  67. KatieL56 says:

    Bishop Matano was my bishop a few years back when he was in Vermont. I always found him to be an exceptional prelate. Father Z, you would love him, he ‘says the black and does the red’! He came in to Rochester after Bishop Clark’s 30 year tenure (and those of us with family there those years saw 90% of the family leave the Church during those years) and so I think he must have an exceptionally keen understanding of just how much ‘muck’ there is and has been in the Church in the U.S. these last few decades as well as the need for Bishop Sheen’s case to have been investigated to the nth degree in order to keep there from being yet another media character assassination and jury-rigged ‘investigation’ to use to blacken the Church’s reputation even further. This must be yet another bitter pill for Bishop Matano to take on, knowing he’ll incur the odium from people who will see him as a traitor, as a hater, etc. Please keep him in your prayers.

  68. Semper Gumby says:

    “The beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen was delayed at the request of Bishop Salvatore Matano of Rochester.

    ““They [sic] did not agree with the fact the beatification date was set and announced and asked the [sic] further consideration be done,” Msgr. James Kruse, Director of Canonical Affairs in the Diocese of Peoria, told CNA Dec. 4.

    “Several senior U.S. archbishops were consulted on the matter before the final decision to delay…”

    “The Diocese of Rochester declined Dec. 4 to answer questions from CNA, but did provide a statement.

    ““The decision to postpone the beatification of Archbishop Sheen was solely the decision of the Holy See. Respecting the competency of the Holy See in this matter, the Diocese will decline further comment.””

    “Kruse emphasized that, in his view, while the decision belong [sic] to the Holy See, it was the Diocese of Rochester that influenced it.”


  69. Paul says:

    The Diocese of Rochester obviously passed the buck to the Holy See. Easy way out.
    I still wonder about the red cap in New York.
    Oops, I didn’t say that, did I?
    Forgive me Lord.

    As Father reminds us, GO TO CONFESSION!

  70. Lurker 59 says:

    Additional reporting from the Journal Star, the Peoria, Illinois paper of record.https://www.pjstar.com/news/20191204/rochester-bishop-pushed-vatican-to-delay-fulton-sheen-beatification-says-peoria-diocese
    By Phil Luciano

    The beatification of Fulton Sheen was delayed at the request of the bishop inRochester, N.Y., the Peoria Diocese says. […]
    Monsignor James Kruse, a key cog in Peoria Diocese’s sainthood campaign for Sheen, decided to speak out…[…] 
    [Regarding the accusations that Sheen, bishop in Rochester from 1966 to 1969, allowed a priest accused of sexual abuse to head a Rochester parish] Kruse said that “months and months and months ago,” the Rochester Diocese had reported that allegation to the Peoria Diocese and the Vatican — both of which cleared Sheen after lengthy and separate investigations.“Sheen in no way acted inappropriately,” […]
    In November, the Peoria Diocese announced the Vatican had setthe beatification for Dec. 21. But apparently right after the November announcement, Bishop Salvatore Matano of Rochester sent a letter to the Vatican warning that Sheen might be somehow named amid investigations [involving Gerald Guli][…]
    Kruse said.“All of that was after Sheen served in Rochester,” Kruse said. Further, Peoria and Rome exhaustively pored over Church documents regarding Guli. Both found no wrong doing by Sheen, Kruse said.“Sheen was exonerated, so the Vatican said, ‘Go ahead with the beatification,’”Kruse said. New York Archdiocese’s[…]However, sources tell the Journal Star that Rochester does not want Sheen to be beatified — “Rochester hates Sheen,” as one source put it — for two reasons. One is a 50-year grudge against Sheen for moves as bishop that detractors there derided as overly bold,[…]
    [the other, NY’s] lingering irritation over losing the Sheen tug-of-war to Peoria, sources said. Though Bishop Matano’s signature as on the protest letter to the Vatican, he would not have signed it without first consulting Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who heads the Archdiocse.“A local bishop would not do something of this magnitude without Dolan’s approval,” a source told the Journal Star. 

  71. Lurker 59 says:

    Some brief commentary on the Journal Star article above.

    “Rochester hates Sheen” should not be necessarily equated to Bp. Matano hates Sheen.  The “Deep State” does exist within a diocese and bishops have to deal with many opposing forces.  The amount of petty, childish, and outright vindictive headwinds that any semi orthodox person or position has to deal with in the average diocese is considerable.  Orthodox people can be this way too.  So if you are supportive of Archbishop Sheen, please don’t write sniping letters to Bp Matano, rather just write to him telling him how Archbishop Sheen has positively impacted your life.

    That said, it should be understood that when looking at this situation, you are looking at an institution that is reacting in a bureaucratic manner rather than in an evangelical manner.  The last minute scuttling, passing of the buck, no one is to be blamed it is the system that is at fault, lack of transparency, non-explanations are truly shameful.  It is a betrayal of the Church’s constitution as a Divine Institution that is separate, distinct from, and superior to the State while at the same time a strong indicator that those in charge do not understand that the laity are fed up with a system that gives the impression of both doing nothing to truly stop the problem of abusive priests while at the same time doing nothing to protect priests from false accusations.

    Archbishop Sheen please intercede on behalf of your fellow bishops that they might have courage!

  72. KatieL56 says:

    Rochester hates Sheen? A diocese does not ‘hate’ anything. Bishop Matano was only named the bishop of Rochester back in November 2013 and installed in January 2014. Before that he was in Vermont from April of 2005, and before that the Apostolic Nunciature in DC from 2000 to his installation in VT, and before that, Providence, RI, teaching, serving as a pastor, etc. So there is no long ‘NY’ history or anything ‘red flagging’ him as anti-Sheen in any way. Again, this man is a ‘say the black, do the red’ bishop; he was actually detested in both VT and Rochester by the progressive camps for insisting that priests ‘follow the rules’, for promoting things like Eucharistic adoration, for his teaching letters on the Eucharist, etc. I pray for him daily; it is his hard luck to be on the spot in this legalistic nightmare. Again, what better way to attack a solidly orthodox bishop than to now put him into the appearance of being ‘against’ the traditionalist camp as well as having him already the target of hate amongst the progressives? If you can’t get somebody orthodox out of the picture because he hasn’t done anything wrong to blackmail him by, get him out another way –and this is a darn good way. God help him. Bishop Matano, like Cardinal Pell, is going to be one of the Thomas Mores of our times, I fear.

  73. Archlaic says:

    Bishop Matano is a straight-shooter and 100% orthodox… in my experience, if he does something there is a very good reason for it. I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt on this matter. I’d also reiterate the caution against associating any putative “Rochester hatred” toward Sheen with Matano; prior to being named bishop there he had no connection with that benighted diocese, which is undoubtedly still lousy with the protégées of Bishop Matthew Clark…

  74. Southern Catholic says:

    Why wasn’t process halted sooner if something might turn up in NY AG report? The state of NY started the investigation in late 2018. There was plenty of time halt the process before now. Also, why does the Diocese of Rochester put the blame on the Vatican if they are the ones requesting the delay?

  75. MrsAnchor says:

    @Matthew: Still Go. You’ll receive every Grace that would have been had his Title been “Saint.” Mere Mortals cannot ban Heavens Graces just because of a Title…
    There wont be the Fan Fare in the same way, but All the More Meritorious and at the very least less bumping into people.
    @Lurker – This Right Here: “Canonization isn’t the beginning of something but is the recognition of something that already exists.”

    Emphasis on “Recognition”_____

    There are 2 other American Holy Persons that are in the varying processes of Beatification and have stalled out because of “Deep State Operatives”
    The Cause for Father Aloysius Ellacuria CMF He was known to read hearts, levitate while saying Mass and had the Perpetual Eucharist reside in his Body. There are Books & a Documentary on Formed.Org/Amazon “The Angel of Biscay” To this day there are Miracles Reported at his Grave in Southern California!!
    Just because he is lacking in Title does that tell Heaven to Stop?! No!

    St. Pio went through a whole lot of lousiness but prevailed.

    We must remember that.

    Another Mystic Sister Mary Mediatrix SSCM buried in Beaverville, Illinois at St Marys Church

    Go visit if you pass through and ask for their Intercession!!
    @Mark; His Memoirs. They dont want his paper trail released.

  76. MrsAnchor says:

    @Mark, They dont want the exposing of Bad Actors within their Ranks. Their Fellow Buddies.

    Archbishop Sheen was a Good Man! He had flare and told it like it should. Theyre using Self Projection and smears to subvert.

    #In the End God Wins

  77. Semper Gumby says:

    December 4:

    “Kruse told CNA that in July, Matano told him “the case is in the hands of Rome and we simply should wait for their determination and direction.””

    “The Diocese of Rochester declined Dec. 4 to answer questions from CNA, but did provide a statement.”

    ““The decision to postpone the beatification of Archbishop Sheen was solely the decision of the Holy See. Respecting the competency of the Holy See in this matter, the Diocese will decline further comment.””


    December 5:

    Diocese of Rochester

    Statement Regarding the Beatification of the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

    The Diocese of Rochester appreciates the many accomplishments that Archbishop Sheen achieved in his lifetime in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ worldwide through media, thereby bringing the message of Jesus to a vast audience.

    The Diocese of Rochester, prior to any announcements of the beatification, provided the Diocese of Peoria and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints through the Office of the Apostolic Nuncio with documentation that expressed concern about advancing the cause for the beatification of Archbishop Sheen at this time without a further review of his role in priests’ assignments. Other prelates shared these concerns and expressed them. There are no complaints against Archbishop Sheen engaging in any personal inappropriate conduct, nor were any insinuations made in this regard.

    The Diocese of Rochester did its due diligence in this matter and believed that, while not casting suspicion, it was prudent that Archbishop Sheen’s cause receive further study and deliberation, while also acknowledging the competency of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to render its decision. The Holy See ultimately decided to postpone the beatification.


    December 5:

    “Sources told CNA that Matano was especially concerned that the attorney general could time the release of an announcement concerning Sheen to coincide with the beatification, potentially marring the celebration with allegations of scandal.”

    “The Dec. 5 Rochester statement said the diocese had requested a delay “prior to any announcements of the beatification.””

    “Msgr. James Kruse, an official in the Diocese of Peoria involved in advancing Sheen’s cause, told CNA that while the Rochester diocese had raised those concerns [advancing the cause for the beatification of Archbishop Sheen at this time without a further review of his role in priests’ assignments] before the beatification date was set, it also raised them again in recent weeks. Two other officials connected to the beatification cause confirmed Kruse’s statement.”

    “Kruse said the Rochester press release did not acknowledge that fact.”


  78. Semper Gumby says:

    Southern Catholic: Good questions.

    iPadre and Archlaic and KatieL56: Solid points, though there’s some sort of anomaly here.

    Lurker59: Thanks for your commentary.

    MrsAnchor: Thank you.

    robtbrown: Your comments are always worth reading, but the one here of 4 December seems a bit thin.


  79. Hidden One says:

    Imagine for a moment if Bishop Matano had done nothing and the AG’s report was released within a few days of the beatification and slammed the late great archbishop, rightly or wrongly.

    Imagine the news stories then.

  80. Semper Gumby says:

    Hidden One: Your premise falls short of addressing the full context of this situation.

    To address your premise: Imagine the Catholic Church not fearful of the New York AG or the secular press who may have questionable motives, imagine the Catholic Church having faith in Fulton Sheen’s cause, and imagine the Catholic Church moving forward with confidence and the Gospel against hostility and paganism. Cheers.

  81. Fr. Kelly says:

    The point I see here is this:
    If all the spokesmen are to be believed, then the diocese of Peoria carried out the exhaustive investigation requisite for the beatification to be scheduled. This investigation will have included a careful examination of all of his episcopal actions during the time he was bishop of Rochester. (Msgr. Kruse explicitly says it did. Further this investigation was examined in Rome and approved as exhaustive. Heaven itself has spoken in the form of a first class miracle through Bishop Sheen’s intervention.
    Further, according to Msgr. Kruse, this investigation explicitly included a determination that Laicized malefactor priest Gerald Guli never received and assignment from Bishop Sheen during his tenure as bishop. Apparently, this determination was made by checking the records and interviewing Guli himself. During the years BISHOP Sheen was in Rochester, Guli was in Wheeling West Virginia and returned to Rochester only after Sheen ceased to be bishop there.

    To say that this actually completed investigation should be set aside just in case the Attorney General might name him as having given an assignment to this malefactor, is to betray a lack of confidence in the Church’s investigation and to give too much importance to the civil authority in this that is essentially a Church matter.

  82. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Kelly: Well said. As others are doing, time to pull a Bishop Sheen book off the bookshelf. Maybe buy a couple more for parish and public libraries or for the waiting room at the VA clinic.

    In the future, a longer lead time than a month from announcement to Beatification will be an excellent opportunity for evangelization. “Behold, I make all things new.”

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