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Sheen update: Judge grants emergency stay to keep remains in New York while archdiocese plans appeal

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 12/07/16

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Hopes buoyed in the Diocese of Peoria by a Nov. 17 court ruling allowing Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s family to transfer the sainthood candidate’s remains from New York to Peoria were tempered by an emergency stay being granted to the Archdiocese of New York, which planned to appeal the ruling. In a 10-page decision, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arlene Bluth had granted the request of Archbishop Sheen’s niece, Joan Sheen Cunningham, to have the remains of the famed orator and media pioneer removed from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and transferred to St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria, where a crypt is being prepared for his re-interment. However, five days later, lawyers representing the Archdiocese of New York and the trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral – who oppose the relocation of the remains – announced their intention to appeal Bluth’s ruling. They also sought and were granted the stay. In a statement provided to Catholic New York, newspaper of the New York Archdiocese, attorney John M. Callagy said: “We are confident that we will present substantial reasons for the appeals court to overturn the initial decision.” …Patricia Gibson, chancellor of the Diocese of Peoria, called the decision to appeal disappointing, but expressed the hope the stay would be rejected at a hearing that could occur soon. If that happened, she said, it is possible Archbishop Sheen’s remains may be present for Christmas Masses at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

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