Sheen’s cause for sainthood presented to the Pope

Benedict knew and worked with Sheen during Vatican II

Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen is pictured with an NBC radio microphone. (CNS)

Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen is pictured with an NBC radio microphone. (CNS) After the Pope’s general audience today in Rome, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Illinois presented the Holy Father with the two-volume, leather-bound positio of the life of American Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen – the document making the case for Sheen’s canonization.

CNS reports that the Pope informed Bishop Jenky that he had known and worked with Sheen during the Second Vatican Council, at which then-Fr. Ratzinger served as a theological expert and Sheen acted as national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.

Edward Pentin describes the next steps in Sheen’s cause, including possible miracles that may come in to play if and when the late archbishop is declared “venerable”:

The cause now moves to a group of theological consultors and cardinals to examine whether the archbishop showed “heroic virtue.” Their results will then be presented to the Holy Father, who will decide whether to formally declare Archbishop Sheen “Venerable” — the penultimate stage before beatification. A Vatican source said it’s not possible to put a timeline on when that might happen and that “human factors” may hold back the process, as the Vatican is currently dealing with a “long list” of other positii. … Assuming the archbishop is declared “Venerable,” his beatification — which requires approval of one miracle attributed to his intercession — also looks hopeful. The saints’ congregation is currently examining two cases of alleged miracles — one near Pittsburgh and the other in Peoria — whose authenticity depends on the judgment of a team of medical doctors.

The website for Sheen’s cause for canonization has a brief bio, and a short list of notable converts who entered the Church under his guidance.

Via Salt + Light TV: An Emmy-winning saint? “Archbishop Sheen won [the Emmy] in 1952 for Most Outstanding Television Personality. In his acceptance speech he reportedly said: ‘I feel it is time I pay tribute to my four writers—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.’”

Here is a trailer for a documentary on Sheen’s life sponsored by the cause for his canonization.


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About Catherine Harmon 576 Articles
Catherine Harmon is managing editor of Catholic World Report.