Illinois Catholics rejoice over 'venerable' decree for Archbishop Sheen
Published: June 28, 2012
PEORIA, Ill. (CNS) -- The Vatican's June 28 decree that U.S. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen lived a life of heroic virtues and should be considered venerable -- advancing his sainthood cause -- prompted much rejoicing in his home state of Illinois. "This is a great day for the Catholic Diocese of Peoria and the Catholic Church in America," said Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria, who added that the "heroic virtues of a son from central Illinois and a priest of Peoria have been recognized by the Catholic Church. Fulton Sheen's zeal, wisdom, and holiness should help us build our faith," he said. Msgr. Stanley Deptula, executive director of the Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation in Peoria, said it was "not a coincidence that the church would render its decision on the heroic virtue of Archbishop Sheen on the same day as the Supreme Court issues its decision on the health care plan." He said the timing of the announcement shows how the church in the United States "needs heroes" and that Archbishop Sheen can "be an inspiration and a consolation to our bishops and other church leaders" since he was "a man of courage, and priest of prayer." The decree issued by the Congregation for Saints' Causes and signed by Pope Benedict XVI said Archbishop Sheen should be considered venerable because he heroically lived Christian virtues. In general, the church must then confirm two miracles before sainthood is declared. The first miracle is needed for beatification and the second for canonization.
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