Holy Turf War...
Of all the televangelists whose names are familiar to the younger generations, none had a more impressive broadcasting career than Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. He hosted a radio program (one that had an audience of four million listeners) for 20 years, and two prime-time TV shows for about 13. He wrote 73 books and, according to the Church, lived a life of “heroic virtue,” meaning those in the know now call him Venerable. Most Catholics agree that he was generally a pretty great guy.
As with any story containing the words “most Catholics agree,” there are limits to that agreement. In Sheen’s case, two prelates are at odds over the disposition of his mortal remains. One, Bishop Jenky, of Sheen’s native Peoria, wants to have the man disinterred and, let’s say, edited (which, perhaps off-puttingly, is how the process of declaring someone a saint usually proceeds). The other, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York (where Sheen was buried), is saying, essentially, no takesy-backsies.
All of which means that the juggernaut that is Venerable Sheen’s cause for canonization has been thwarted. The process has been “indefinitely suspended.”
On the bright side, the Vatican has opined “it does not believe this will be a lasting impediment.” On the dimmer side, things that are not “lasting” in the Vatican’s sense of time do not necessarily happen in the span of a mortal lifetime. Or millennium.
While you’re waiting for the good bishops to agree on the good bishop, why not learn a little more about Fulton Sheen? Franciscan Media has several books and audios on the topic. And, don’t worry, you’ll probably have enough time to read them all.
Photo “BpSheen” distributed as publicity photo by the Dumont Network for his program Life is Worth Living. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Fulton J. Sheen via Wikipedia.