Pope receives papers for cause of Fulton Sheen — and reveals that he worked with him

A small but significant step forward for the cause of the man who (I hope) will one day be the patron saint of television (alongside St. Claire, of course).

Details:

When Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria, Ill., presented Pope Benedict XVI with two thick volumes about the life of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, the pope surprised him by saying he had worked with the late archbishop.

Pope Benedict “told me something I hadn’t known: he worked on the commission for mission at the Second Vatican Council with Fulton Sheen,” Bishop Jenky told Catholic News Service. The pope served as a theological expert at the council in the 1960s.

At the end of the pope’s weekly general audience May 25, Bishop Jenky presented the pope with two leather-bound volumes with golden lettering on the side: “Fultonius Ioannes Sheen.”

The tomes — totaling close to 2,000 pages — are the “positio,” the official position paper, outlining why the Catholic Church should recognize Archbishop Sheen as a saint.

Archbishop Sheen, who was born in Illinois in 1895 and died in New York in 1979, was an Emmy-winning televangelist. His program, “Life is Worth Living,” aired in the United States from 1951 to 1957.

Bishop Jenky said, “I hope it helps” that the pope personally knew Archbishop Sheen, who was national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in 1950-66 and attended every session of Vatican II.

You can read more at the link.

Comments

  1. brother jeff says:

    There is a deeply moving photo of John Paul II embracing Sheen in 1979 I believe, just before Sheen died. The pope said to him, “You are a loyal son of the Church” as he hugged him.

    I’d love to find it again.

  2. brother jeff

    Try this link

  3. What miracles did Sheen perform? Isn’t that one of the criteria?

  4. Brother Jeff:

    Looks like John V beat me to the punch.

    You can find another picture of Pope John Paul II and Bishop Sheen at this website:

    http://www.traditioninaction.org/HotTopics/f041ht_Sheen_VatII.htm

    I was privileged to have received my college diploma from Bishop Sheen, since he was a fixture at the college I attended.

  5. brother jeff says:

    Thank you. What a shot.

  6. naturgesetz says:

    George — The miracles aren’t needed for the process to begin. They are necessary for beatification and canonization to be the results of the process.

  7. “What miracles did Sheen perform? Isn’t that one of the criteria?”

    As stated, no miracles are required to begin the process for beatification and canonization. Further, God performs the miracles through their intercession, the blessed or saint does not perform the miracle.

  8. Brother Jeff says:

    There is a lot of good preaching out there, but no one, no one, comes close to Sheen. What an immense talent for communication.

  9. I think that Father Barron comes very close to Bishop Sheen. But Bishop Sheen had a knack for the power of the image that gave him a distinct persona. He also was from an age when the Church had finally achieved a respected place in American life and the figure of the Father was reverenced and listened to. Very different from our diminished times and from the myriad of voices in the media today. Back in the 50′s there were only about three channel stations! Now the amount of information in the media seems infinite.

  10. Brother Jeff says:

    Agree. I have an old cassette tape of Bishop Sheen which must have been recorded in the late 70s. His sermons had a more emotional quality to them at that point, but the emotion was real and kind of riveting. At one point he was commenting upon how the young of the time were being fed the image of Jesus as “Superstar,” when that Broadway play was out. He says something like, “Was our Lord a Superstar? He was not! He was rejected by media of communications, rejected by the press, rejected by the chief priests, rejected by everything that seemed to center in popularity, thrown out of a city onto a garbage heap!! That’s not a superstar….”

    It’s very powerful. I hope he gets canonized one day.

  11. Yes , no miracle neede to become a ” saint “. The greatest miracle is a circumcized heart thru the faith and belief in JESUS CHRIST as Lord and Savior.
    Paul : To the ” saints ” in Phillipi / Collosae / Ehesus etc.
    Beatification / canonization ? Where in the Bible is this ?
    Will someone point it out for me !

  12. Jireh, the use of “saints” in St Paul is far different than what we mean by a canonized Saint. The same word often has different meanings. But a nice try anyway.

  13. RomCath,

    Saint ( hagiushere ) simply refers to ” all ” Christians ! there is not a hierarchy of super pious people canonized by God (maybe by the rcc ). God canonizes nobody !
    ” hagius ” appears in Eph 1 : 4 and Col 1 : 21 -22.
    After you’ve read these passages you will understand that all ” BIBLE ” believing , born again Christians are ” saints ” who love JESUS CHRIST. Church councils = to Scripture .
    No way !!!

  14. Brendan Kelleher svd says:

    Bishop Jenky needs to study the history Vatican II. The Commission that rewrote the original schema on the missions was chaired by Fr Johannes Schutte, then Superior General of the Society of the Divine Word, and they held their quite a few of their gatherings, particularly the intersession meetings, at the SVD house in Nemi, a little further south of Castel Gandalfo outside of Rome. There are photographs on display there where you can clearly see Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Rev. Prof. Josef Ratzinger. Benedict XVI honored the SVD’s, who were gathered at Nemi this past summer for a General Chapter, with a visit; prior to the visit our Procurator General Fr. Giradi presented the Pope with copies of the photographs taken there back during the days of the Council.
    In many ways our hosting of the Commission on “Ad Gentes” is no more than a footnote in the history of the Council, but one we as a missionary congregation look back on with a sense of pride and thanks.

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