Well, this is disappointing:
The diocese originally received word from the Vatican on Nov. 18 that the beatification had been approved to take place the following month. But the diocese said that on Dec. 2 “the Holy See decided to postpone the date of Beatification, at the request of a few members of the Bishop’s Conference who have asked for further consideration.”
“Bishop Jenky is deeply saddened by this decision,” said the press release. “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.”
Go here to read the rest. Go here to read the announcement of the postponement. It is hard to exaggerate how disappointing this is for faithful Catholics in the Peoria Diocese, as the movement to canonize Bishop Sheen has been a popular cause here for decades.
PopeWatch detects in this abrupt postponement the hoofprints of the New York Archdiocese. Now that Peoria has the body of Bishop Sheen, evil forces in New York are apparently playing dog in the manger. Of course this also demonstrates the Key Stone Kops manner in which the Church is currently being managed.
Update I: The plot thickens or sickens:
.- The beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen was delayed at the request of Bishop Salvatore Matano of Rochester, according to several sources close to the beatification process.
The bishop is reported to have requested the delay due to concerns that Sheen could be cited in the final report covering an ongoing state attorney general’s investigation into New York’s bishops and dioceses.
In September, New York’s attorney general began an investigation into whether any of the state’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses had covered up acts or allegations of clerical sexual abuse. Sheen was Bishop of Rochester from 1966 to 1969.
The bishop, who was a prolific author and television personality, was set to be beatified on Dec. 21, the last step before a person can be declared a saint.
A “postponement” of the beatification was announced by the Peoria diocese, where Sheen is buried and would have been beatified, on Dec. 3.
The diocese said that “a few members of the Bishops’ Conference” had “requested a delay,” adding that “the Diocese of Peoria remains confident that Archbishop Sheen’s virtuous conduct will only be further demonstrated.”
According to a source close to the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, Matano contacted the apostolic nuncio after the beatification date was set, to express concerns that Sheen could be named in a report by the attorney general, or accused of insufficiently handling allegations of abuse during his tenure as Rochester’s bishop.
Go here to read the rest. Sheen served as Bishop of Rochester for three years. By all accounts his tenure was a disaster on wheels. That has long been known. There has never been a hint of his tolerating or protecting predator priest. Incompetence as an administrator? Yes. Getting involved in making political statements on Vietnam and Civil Rights? Yes. A tone deafness to orthodox Catholics in the Rochester diocese? Yes. None of this is news and has been known over the past 20 years of his canonization cause.
Update II: From the Journal Star (Local paper in Peoria):
However, sources tell the Journal Star that Rochester does not want Sheen to be beatified — “Rochester hates Sheen,” as one source put it — for two reasons. One is a 50-year grudge against Sheen for moves as bishop that detractors there derided as overly bold, such as trying to give a parish building to the federal government to house impoverished African Americans.
But the biggest reason reflects the New York Archdiocese’s lingering irritation over losing the Sheen tug-of-war to Peoria, sources said. Though Bishop Matano’s signature as on the protest letter to the Vatican, he would not have signed it without first consulting Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who heads the Archdiocse.
“A local bishop would not do something of this magnitude without Dolan’s approval,” a source told the Journal Star.
To the Journal Star, the Archdiocese has laid the postponement entirely at feet of the Vatican.
Go here to read the rest.