In a 3-2 decision in Matter of Cunningham v Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, (NY App., Feb. 6, 2018), New York state’s Appellate Division sent back to the trial court for further proceedings the dispute over whether the body of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who died in 1979, should be moved from New York City to Illinois.  Sheen was buried in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. However Sheen’s niece has now petitioned the court to have Sheen’s remains moved to Peoria, Illinois where Sheen’s family resides and where a shrine to him is being built in anticipation of Sheen’s Beatification by The Vatican. (See prior posting.)  The trial court concluded (full text of opinion) that no factual disputes existed, and granted the request to allow removal of Sheen’s remains. However, on appeal the majority held that the trial court must hold a hearing to determine Sheen’s wishes as to his place of burial, in light of conflicting evidence on the issue. New York Times reports on the decision.



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