The cause for Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s sainthood should be an integral part of the Catholic Church’s “New Evangelization”

by Doug Lawrence

The “poster boy” for Pope Benedict’s “New Evangelization” could well be the most famous television evangelist who ever lived: the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

Archbishop Sheen died 32 years ago, but not before his wit, wisdom, and Irish Catholic charisma made illuminating the Catholic faith a weekly, nationally televised experience … informing and entertaining millions of Catholics and non-Catholics, alike.

Attempting to advance Sheen’s cause for sainthood, and in need of a confirmed miracle, some say the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen interceded to save the life of a stillborn baby at a Peoria hospital in September of 2010.

That may well be so, but his “first” real miracle has been clearly apparent to Catholics (and others) of discernment, for many, many years. Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s entire life and career was a miracle!

America was then and is today, a very anti-Catholic place. Yet somehow, Sheen managed to get his own network television show, and he regularly bested the ratings of the competition, to boot. If that’s not a miracle, then I don’t know what is!

It’s time for the Vatican to put aside petty rivalries and jealousies, and get fully on board with this cause, since the best possible “face” for the “New Evangelization” is the same one that made Catholicism widely known and accepted on network television, in the 1960’s.

Much of  the late archbishop’s work has been very well preserved, and with the latest advances in computer graphic animation, it should be no problem at all to digitally “resurrect” him … in both word and likeness. Maybe we could team up the “digital” Archbishop Sheen with a “live” Father Robert Barron?

Two things are pretty certain: 1) It’s doable. 2) Jesus would be pleased!

So what’s stopping us?

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  1. The Vatican is on board for this cause for in case you did not know as a Theological expert (periti) he worked closely and knew personally Archbishop Sheen so I am sure the Pope will not only have him raised to the altars but as far as making him the “poster boy” for the new Evangelization that would be up to the Holy See not just”the Vatican” Let them make the decision themselves. It is always easy to tell Rome what to do when we are not in their position.

    • You obviously missed some of the back-room politics and clerical rivalries involving the late archbishop. While it seems that things may finally be moving along, his cause for sainthood is far from secure. Furthermore, a little public acclimation never hurts, since it’s often hard for the fellows in the Vatican to discern the difference between petty politics and serious matters of faith. Then there’s the natural animosity between the “new” church people and the traditionalists. Archbishop Sheen’s cause for sainthood if still very far from being a “done deal”. The same is true for the “new evangelization”.

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