The New York Times took its time getting around to the news that broke Sept. 3 concerning the dispute over the remains of saint-in-the-making Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, but Sharon Otterman's story that went online yesterday is worth the wait.
Otterman, the Times' Metro religion reporter begins with a soft lead before getting to the, ahem, body of the story:
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria, Ill., has already constructed a museum in honor of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, a native son whose Emmy-winning television show during the 1950s brought Catholicism to the American living room. It has documented several potential miracles by him and compiled a dossier on his good works for the Vatican.
It has drawn up blueprints for an elaborate shrine in its main cathedral to house his tomb and sketched out an entire devotional campus it hopes to complete when its campaign to have him declared the first American-born male saint succeeds.
There has been just one snag in the diocese’s carefully laid veneration plans: the matter of Archbishop Sheen’s body.
We are then given some straight-up details: Peoria Bishop Daniel R. Jenky recently announced that the effort to canonize Sheen -- who was nearing beatification -- is being stalled because Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, refused to permit his body to be released from its crypt at St. Patrick's Cathedral.