Diocese of Peoria announces postponement in Sheen beatification
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following press release was issued by the Catholic Diocese of Peoria early on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 3.
With deep regret, Bishop Daniel Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of Peoria, announces that he has been informed by the Holy See that the Beatification of Fulton Sheen will be postponed.
On November 18, 2019, the Diocese of Peoria received formal notification that Pope Francis had approved the Beatification of Fulton Sheen to take place on December 21st of this year. However, on December 2nd, the Holy See decided to postpone the date of Beatification, at the request of a few members of the Bishops’ Conference who have asked for further consideration. 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.
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.
Archbishop Sheen was known for his personal dedication to a daily holy hour in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Drawing strength from his personal prayer life and deep devotion to Our Lord, Fulton Sheen consistently demonstrated tremendous courage in confronting the challenges in our society. He was well known for his boldness in preaching the Gospel on radio and on television in the face of our secular culture. This same spirit of courage and boldness guided him as a Bishop to preach the truth, to defend the faith, and to safeguard the Church.
Since a few members of the Bishops’ Conference have requested a delay, the Diocese of Peoria remains confident that Archbishop Sheen’s virtuous conduct will only be further demonstrated. Bishop Jenky has every confidence that any additional examination will only further prove Fulton Sheen’s worthiness of Beatification and Canonization. The Diocese of Peoria has no doubt that Fulton Sheen, who brought so many souls to Jesus Christ in his lifetime, will be recognized as a model of holiness and virtue.
This development is unfortunate especially because there continue to be many miracles reported through Sheen’s intercession. Several have even been reported since the announcement of the Beatification date two weeks ago. It is undoubtedly further proof for those who truly believe in this Cause that these miracles will be credited to the intercession of the Venerable Fulton Sheen in the future.
Bishop Jenky is deeply saddened by this decision. In particular, Bishop Jenky is even more concerned for the many faithful who are devoted to Sheen and who will be affected by this news. He 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.
The Diocese of Peoria will offer no further comment at this time.