What a shock.
One December 3rd, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria announced that Rome has postponed the beatification of Fulton Sheen which was scheduled for December 21st of this year at the cathedral of Peoria. The delay is attributed to a request from some U.S. bishops who have asked for further consideration of this formal act by the Church which would move Archbishop Sheen one step closer to sainthood.
This should have never happened. It is a tragedy. Whatever the reason for the request, it should have been settled before the beatification was ever announced last month. An act like this one shows poor order and poor communication within the Church. The Diocese of Peoria states on its website that:
“The Diocese of Peoria observes that 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 and a model of leadership in the Church. At no time has his life of virtue ever been called into question.” Bishop Jenky has expressed his sadness regarding this situation, and is concerned for the faithful who will be affected by this news.
I hope we will be told the reason for this postponement, and that whatever it is, it will be resolved.
UPDATE: It has come to light that the delay came at the request of Bishop Salvatore Matano of Rochester. Catholic News Service reported this afternoon that the Bishop requested it “due to concerns that Sheen could be cited in the final report covering an ongoing state attorney general’s investigation into New York’s bishops and dioceses.”