Archdiocese of New York relents on remains of Archbishop Sheen

Long legal battle over the late archbishop's burial place ends; archdiocese now says it will help in transfer to Cathedral of St. Mary in Peoria, Illinois

Archbishop Fulton Sheen. (image from Catholic News Agency)

The Archdiocese of New York will work to help transfer the remains of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, a spokesman for the archdiocese told CNA Saturday. The decision is the conclusion of a long legal battle over the late archbishop’s burial place.

“We have been informed that the New York Court of Appeals has denied further appeal of the New York Supreme Court decision upholding Joan Cunningham’s petition to disinter Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s mortal remains from under the altar at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where they have rested for nearly 40 years,” Joseph Zwilling, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of New York, told CNA.

“While we did not initiate this matter, the Trustees of St. Patrick’s and the Archdiocese believed that it was not simply their duty, but a solemn obligation, to seek to uphold Archbishop Sheen’s last wishes, as directed in his Will, to be buried in New York – a position held until recently by Joan Cunningham herself,” Zwilling said.

Cunningham is Sheen’s niece and closest living relative. Cunningham has said in the past that although her uncle’s will states that his wish was to be buried in New York, she believes he would have wanted to have been interred in Peoria if he knew it would help advance his cause for sainthood.

Full story at Catholic News Agency.

Comments

  1. Perhaps now the serious business of promoting the Archbishops Canonization can move forward expeditiously.

  2. It has been my understanding that Archbishop Sheen had desired to be buried in Calvary Cemetery which is the large Catholic cemetery operated by the Archdiocese of NY and located in the Long Island City section of Queens. The Diocese of Peoria, his home town, had to initiate the quest for sainthood because NY refused to do so. This meant the remains needed to be moved to Peoria in order for the sainthood process to continue.

    • Anonymous says

      The Archdiocese of New York has repeatedly appealed the attempt to transfer Sheen’s remains to Peoria, arguing that Vatican officials have said the Peoria diocese can pursue Sheen’s canonization regardless of whether his body is buried there.
      From the article

  3. Anonymous says

    Wonderful news! As soon as they build a Shrine to Ven. Abp. Sheen in Peoria, I plan to make a little pilgrimage there! But they’d better hurry! None of us is getting any younger! I shed many tears, when I found out that Ven. Abp. Sheen died, on Dec. 9, 1979– almost 40 years ago! LOVED his TV show, books — everything! He was wonderful!

  4. So how much did this cost the laity ? dolan himself did not pay for this , thank God this good man’s cause is moving forward .

  5. Jimmy Mac says

    Divide the remains between the two locations. Think of the pilgrimage income potential for the both!

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