Court Battle Continues Between Church Officials in New York, Peoria Over Remains of Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Officials of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria say their counterparts in the Archdiocese of New York are trying to halt the transfer of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s remains to Illinois.

Earlier this month, New York’s Court of Appeals rejected the New York Archdiocese’s argument that lower courts erred in giving permission to a Sheen relative to transfer his remains to Peoria, where he was ordained 100 years ago.

The Journal Star in Peoria reports Monday that the archdiocese has filed another petition arguing that Sheen is the “prime and paramount” determiner of his final resting place. Five days before his death in 1979, Sheen signed a will seeking burial in the archdiocese’s graveyard, Calvary Cemetery. He is interred at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The Peoria diocese wants to inter Sheen’s remains this year in St. Mary’s Cathedral, where he was ordained in 1919. The diocese also wants sainthood for Sheen, known for his revolutionary radio and TV preaching in the 1950s and ’60s.

The New York Archdiocese did not respond to a request for comment.

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