March 07, 2019 Practice Points

Court Orders Cardinal Sheen’s Remains Moved from NYC to Peoria

The bishop of Peoria is attempting to have him be declared a saint.

By Sanford Hausler

Cardinal Fulton Sheen died in 1979 and was interred in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. His family wants his remains returned to Peoria, Illinois, where he grew up. The reason for this is that the bishop of Peoria is attempting to have him be declared a saint, which the New York Catholic ecclesiastical authorities are not seeking. The New York Appellate Division ordered his remains to be sent to Peoria for interment. In so ruling, the court stated:

While it is undisputed that burial in a crypt at St. Patrick's Cathedral is a high honor, the testimony of Archbishop Sheen's family and respondents' witness Msgr. Hilary C. Franco demonstrates that Archbishop Sheen lived with an even higher intent and purpose in mind, namely to attain Heaven and, if at all possible, sainthood.

(Note: The decision of the court erroneously stated that the cardinal had died in 1959, rather than 1979.)

Sanford Hausler is of counsel with Cox Padmore Skolnik & Shakarchy LLP in New York, New York.

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