Dear Neil Obstat,
Thank you for that thoughtfully written piece. If that account is indeed accurate, what a tragic thing to happen to so great a man (at least from the human point of view). What does ring true is the "M.O. of the N.O.," so to speak. Once you turn your back on the Council, that's it! You're a "zealot," a "kook," an "extremist," a "fanatic," a "this," or a "that" . . . you know the drill.
But true to one of the sermons of ABS, and a rather profound one at that, the very worst is the consignment to irrelevance . . . the "apathy" and the silent marginalization. ABS once said that the overt adversity Christ suffered on Calvary was arguably "less" of a trial in a sense than the cold apathy with which He is now treated by the modern world. The account that you relate seems to suggest a taste of those prophet words that ABS once spoke regarding Our Lord.
Hope things are well. God bless and thank you!
You're welcome, Skunkwurxsspx. I'm glad to see you found the thread.
I'm not claiming to be an expert on this, but hopefully someone here who
knows something more can post some info. I don't have much confidence
in the process of his cause to come up with all the relevant facts. They are
in the habit of discounting items that could be of great interest, on the
basis that they're too extreme or whatever. Plus, without the Devil's
Advocate, who knows how much contradiction there is to the "signs of
virtue" or holiness that will be allowed in his cause?
+Sheen wrote some powerful stuff, no doubt. Some find it very inspirational,
others say it's "too much." For example, have you ever read, or heard
it dramatically read, his "Seven Last Words?" I have known several
people who cannot bear to hear it.
Well, you know, some are saying that Fr. Pfeiffer's sermons are "too much,"
too, so that attitude is still with us. I know and have known several
adults who care nothing for any good sermon, and they deliberately get
up and leave the room while the sermon is being given, then come back
in when it's finished! In the days of St. John Chrysostom, some thought
he was "too much" too.
That's the basis of Jansenism: "Nothing too much - don't go overboard."
My biggest problem is that he was in a position where he could have done
a lot more for Tradition if he had only resisted the changes. It's hard to
know what would have been right for someone else, you know? If
nothing else, his notoriety may have been an obstacle for him, such that
he may have been a little more concerned with his public image than he
was with protecting the traditions he had received, and if so, that would
have been a serious error on his part. He should have known better.
What I have read and heard about Abp. Sheen is quite mixed, and if I may offer one explanation it would come down to the phenomenon of notoriety.
Famous people can do some pretty strange things, according to OTHER PEOPLE - not so famous - who would like their audience to think THEM not strange at all!
While that may be true in general, unless you have something specific in
the case of +Sheen, it isn't really fair to suggest this was the case with
him, unless you can show some examples.
Abp. Sheen became a celebrity, in the course of which, he managed to impart some sound advice to Catholics and others. What else? I dunno. I've heard reports, pro and con. They remain that, reports.
I don't think anyone can seriously doubt that +Sheen had an impact on
the lives of millions of people who would otherwise have had no idea
what the Church taught on any number of topics about which he spoke
in great detail on national TV.. The Jҽωs hated his show, but it went on
anyway. Not that he spoke out against them, but just that he was giving
air to Catholic doctrine and the Jҽωs were miserable hearing it, just as
they didn't want to hear what St. Stephen had to say, so they hauled him
out and stoned him. But today, they knew that they could not make of
+Sheen a martyr because then his message would become all the more
powerful, so they let him waste away, apparently, which was a more
cruel and profitable suppression. See how that works?
Whether he became a VatII groupie or died a broken man, I have no idea. I suspect some reports of the conciliarist inclination may have some truth in them.
As I explained, I heard that as his message and attitude started to turn
away from the Council seeing in retrospect the bad fruits of it (they are
plain as day for anyone who honestly looks at the data), the MSM and
the Conciliar prelates began to ignore him. And I don't think you even
need to find any "smoking gun" of orders given or a paper trail of evidence
that proves there was a movement out to shut him down. All you need to
see is that he was quickly taken out of the public eye.
It seems to me that he made a mistake not teaming up with +ABL, but
I have no data to support that.
I was never a fan, even when all kinds of people around me were.
But I do know he advocated strongly for priestly adoration, daily, and that alone is enough to secure some hope that he ended his life well and had built some treasury of merit out of his long service in Holy Orders.
Yes, he was a major proponent of Eucharistic Adoration. He said on a
number of occasions that the time he had spent alone, quiet, giving all
his attention to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament was by far more
educational and beneficial for him than any other activity he had ever
engaged in. An that is a very courageous thing to say in our modern
and faithless world. I'm sure that one message alone counted as a major
concern at his own particular judgment.
One of the images they used for a leader in his TV program was a picture
of him, in full archbishop's attire, by which I mean a robe and a skull cap
and his pectoral cross and ring, kneeling on a prie-dieu in silence before
a monstrance on the altar. They had a diaphanous curtain there to make
it seem like you were peeking into a private room.. It seemed like he
must have spent a lot of time just like that. The image alone is a
testament to the principle.