I find this story quite amusing. The Catholic dioceses of New York and Peoria are locked in mortal combat over the body of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, a very popular radio and TV evangelist starting in the 1930s. Peoria, where he was originally ordained, wants his body to be moved from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. New York says no. Food fight!
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria, Ill., has already constructed a museum in honor of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, a native son whose Emmy-winning television show during the 1950s brought Catholicism to the American living room. It has documented several potential miracles by him and compiled a dossier on his good works for the Vatican.
It has drawn up blueprints for an elaborate shrine in its main cathedral to house his tomb and sketched out an entire devotional campus it hopes to complete when its campaign to have him declared the first American-born male saint succeeds.There has been just one snag in the diocese’s carefully laid veneration plans: the matter of Archbishop Sheen’s body.
Since his death in 1979, his remains have been sealed in a white marble crypt at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, the city where he spent much of his life. And though the Peoria diocese says it was promised the remains, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, who considers Archbishop Sheen something of a personal hero, has refused to part with them, citing the wishes of the archbishop and his family.
Now the dispute over Archbishop Sheen’s corpse has brought a halt to his rise to sainthood, just as he appeared close to beatification, the final stage before canonization. Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, Peoria’s leader, announced this month that the process had been suspended because New York would not release the body.
Who’s got the popcorn? I say cut him in half and let them both have a piece.