The Real Reason for Postponing Archbishop Sheen’s Beatification

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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Dec 04, 2019

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

Kudos to J.D. Flynn and Ed Condon of the Catholic News Agency, for an outstanding piece of investigative reporting on the reasons for postponing the beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

The news that the beatification would be postponed, coming less than a month before the scheduled event, was stunning and disheartening. And the official announcement from the Peoria diocese, providing no explanation beyond the fact that “a few members of the bishops’ conference have requested a delay,” certainly did nothing to restore public confidence.

Why would a beatification be delayed? The diocesan statement acknowledged an unhappy reality: “In our current climate, it is important for the faithful to know that there has never been, nor is there now, any allegation against Sheen involving the abuse of a minor.” Was that sentence intended to ease our worries? On the contrary, by mentioning the charges that have not been raised against Archbishop Sheen, the statement virtually encourages readers to ask: Well, then, what allegations have been made?  ….


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