Diocese of Peoria Delays former Archbishop’s Beatification Due to Secular Clergy Abuse Investigations

Church officials in Peoria have chosen to delay the beatification of a former Archbishop until law enforcement in NY completes their investigation into clergy sex abuse.

We applaud the move to delay the beatification of former Rochester Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Hundreds of lawsuits are being filed in New York and at least two government offices – one in New York and another in Illinois – are investigating Catholic officials in states where Archbishop Sheen spent time.

Given the revelations that have come out through these secular investigations, it makes sense to delay this beatification instead of risking that another prematurely praised Catholic figure is later exposed to be complicit in clergy sex crimes and cover ups. As there are already questions about whether or not Archbishop Sheen reassigned a cleric accused of sexual misconduct, this decision is sensible and can help from further hurting abuse survivors.

Choosing to make this delay out of sensitivity and caution is a good step. We hope that those Catholic officials who have been campaigning for Archbishop Sheen’s beatification will now use this time to focus instead on better protecting children and supporting survivors today.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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