Just two weeks after announcing that the long-awaited date of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s beatification had been set, the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, announced Dec. 3 that the celebration planned for Dec. 21 was being postponed.
A news release from the diocese said: “On Dec. 2, the Holy See decided to postpone the date of beatification, at the request of a few members of the bishops’ conference who have asked for further consideration. 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. … The Diocese of Peoria remains confident that Archbishop Sheen’s virtuous conduct will only be further demonstrated. Bishop [Daniel] Jenky has every confidence that any additional examination will only further prove Fulton Sheen’s worthiness of beatification and canonization. The Diocese of Peoria has no doubt that Fulton Sheen, who brought so many souls to Jesus Christ in his lifetime, will be recognized as a model of holiness and virtue.”