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Don’t Be Mean, Give Back Sheen

Return his body. Stop stalling sainthood.

June 22, 2016  0


Just a question: Is there anything that New York cardinal Timothy Dolan's archdiocese won't do to frustrate the Faith?

From His Eminence’s pro-homosexuality stances, to his chancery staff's homosexual cabal which covers up for homoexual priests living with their boyfriends, to his leading the St. Patrick's Day parade as grand Marshal with its first ever openly gay contingent which he openly supported, to his cheering on a wanna-be, openly gay NFL prospect, and on and on and on.

From his confusing comments during interviews with national media to his total lack of opposition to the same-sex marriage law in New York, is there nothing that His Eminence will not allow to happen that weakens people's faith? Apparently, no, there isn't.

The latest in his long, long litany of disappointments is the newest kerfuffle over the cause for sainthood of Abp. Fulton Sheen. If you want a master's degree in distortion, you need go no farther than the New York archdiocese chancery under his direction. Here's a quick history.

In 2002, the honorable Bp. Daniel Jenky of Peoria began the cause for Bp. Sheen to be declared a saint. Part of that process involved seeking permission from then-New York cardinal Edward Egan to have Sheen's mortal remains moved from New York, where they lay under the High Altar in St. Patrick's Cathedral to Peoria, Sheen's boyhood home.

A couple of years ago, we were visiting New York and got a private opportunity to go under the altar and say a prayer at his tomb.  Here are personal photos of the crypt and of Sheen's tomb.

So Cdl. Egan had given Bp. Jenky his assurances that when the process reached the point where Sheen's remains needed to move to Peoria, the New York archdiocese would agree and release them. With that assurance, Bp. Jenky was able to proceed with all the meticulous work involved in the process of canonization: the research, the prep work, the travel, the gathering of testimonies and on and on. 

It is detailed work, and it doesn't come free. The diocese of Peoria spent around a million dollars over 14 years doing all the leg work. Then came the time to transfer the body. But Cdl. Egan was no longer on the scene, being replaced by Cdl. Dolan.

Dolan wasted no time in going back on the former promise and assurance of the New York archdiocese given by Cdl. Egan years earlier. He refused to hand over the body. Unsurprisingly the refusal was accompanied by various distortions. The official response said that Sheen had expressed his desire to be buried in New York. While that;s true, it is only half true — a speciality of New York.

Sheen had been asked to be buried in New York, but in a regular cemetery, not under St. Patrick's High Altar. That decision was made by then-New York cardinal Terence Cooke, and the family had agreed. So it's more than a little duplicitous for Cdl. Dolan to paint the picture that he is trying to honor the wishes of Bp. Sheen by keeping the body in New York.

And then just a few days ago, the family actually had to file a petition in the New York courts to have the body released and taken back to Peoria. Imagine: having to sue a cardinal and his archdiocese to get back the body of a would-be saint who cannot be canonized because the cardinal won't release it and distorts the reason why.

This is nuts — but sadly, par for the course with New York's Cdl. Dolan and his chancery. Let's not forget that this is the same chancery and leadership that has distorted the truth around the notorious case of Fr. Peter Miqueli and his gay-for-pay male prostitute — a case which is still ongoing.

So we are asking you to help out Bp. Jenky, the Peoria diocese, and the people who have worked so hard for the past dozen years in attempting to move the process along of Bp. Sheen's canonization. There are millions of people who have been touched by this man (more on that tomorrow), and it is scandalous for a prince of the Church to behave in this kind of manner.

So if you have a Twitter account, tweet @CardinalDolan and @NY_Arch with the hashtag: #DontBeMeanGiveBackSheen.

Let them know you are upset at this deplorable treatment of not just one but two bishops: Sheen and Jenky.

If you don't tweet, then email the archdiocese or call them up. The information is down below. With the great need need for saints in the Church these days — and Sheen would be the first native-born saint from the United States — to hold up his canonization by breaking a promise and distorting the facts, so much so that you have to be taken to court, is embarrassing in the least.

Cardinal Dolan, give up Bp. Sheen's body so the entire Catholic world can have a new saint. What's wrong with you?

Let’s get this movement going. Cardinal Dolan has no rightful claim to the body. Bishop Sheen now belongs to the Church. The Church says that. The committee in charge of his canonization says that. His family says that. And soon the New York State Supreme Court will say that. Turn over the body to his family so they can return it to his home and the move to sainthood can advance.


Contact information for Cdl. Timothy Dolan


Archdiocese of New York
1011 First Ave
New York, NY  10022
(212) 371-1000

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