Thought you might like to see the letter our chancellor wrote to the Diocese of Peoria regarding their decision to resume the promotion of the cause for Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen:
Dear Ms. Gibson:
Congratulations on the decision of the Diocese of Peoria to resume its promotion of the cause for its native son, Archbishop Fulton Sheen.
As you are aware, the Archdiocese of New York was surprised when the Diocese of Peoria issued a press release last October announcing that it had dropped the cause. Although the same release quoted the Bishop of Peoria as having stated that the Archdiocese of New York might take-up the cause, and although the Archdiocese received volumes of mail urging it to do so from cardinals, bishops, faithful around the world, members of the Sheen Foundation and even the archbishop’s family, it took no explicit action in the hope that the Diocese of Peoria might reconsider its decision to resume the cause. Hence our satisfaction and joy over the current announcement.
It is my understanding that Archbishop Timothy Dolan—presently in Ireland on the apostolic visitation of seminaries by appointment of the Holy Father—has already written to express his congratulations and gratitude for the good news to Bishop Daniel Jenky.
Might I ask that you help clarify an unfortunate statement by the Sheen Foundation in a CAN/EWTN press release of January 29, 2011, indicating that the Archdiocese of New York had failed “to fulfill a verbal promise to transfer Sheen’s remains” to Peoria?
Perhaps the Foundation could be made aware of correspondence from Archbishop Dolan to Bishop Jenky of October 23, 2010, which would clarify this regrettable and inaccurate charge by the Foundation. In the aforementioned letter, the archbishop assured the bishop that he was more than happy to continue his research into the question of the transfer of the remains, but that his study on the matter had already revealed that there was in fact no evidence of such a verbal promise; that Archbishop Sheen’s Last Will and Testament expressed a desire for burial in New York; that Archbishop Sheen had gratefully accepted Cardinal Terence Cooke’s invitation for interment in the crypt beneath the main altar of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral traditionally reserved for its archbishops; that the Congregation for Saints had, in 2005, explicitly instructed Cardinal Edward Egan, then-Archbishop of New York, not to transfer the remains; and that Archbishop Sheen’s family was strong in its preference that his remains stay in place at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.
Thank you for whatever assistance you can give to clarify this unfortunate statement by the Foundation. Lord knows, everyone wants this noble cause to progress in charity and full vigor without any clouds hanging over it. The Archdiocese of New York remains grateful to the Diocese of Peoria for having shared its son with the Church Universal, and remains eager to be of any service to the Diocese that it can possibly be.
With prayerful best wishes, I am,
Reverend Monsignor Gregory Mustaciuolo
Chancellor/Moderator of the Curia