Recently, I came across an old video cassette from the 1980s put out by a group in New Jersey known as "Catholics United For The Faith." It was an old black and white recording of the (then) Monsignor, later Bishop, Fulton J. Sheen offering Midnight Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC. Fr. DePauw had just come out with the first and best-to-date video of himself offering the True Mass at the Ave Maria Chapel in Westbury, NY (June 1986). I'm happy to say that both my father and mother (God rest their souls) and yours truly, appear when the congregation goes up to receive Holy Communion. The video was for people who couldn't get to a True Mass, as well as those who were afraid to travel and attend the Chapel because they would be "excommunicated." Fr. DePauw had a 15 minute introduction explaining what the True Mass was and why it could not and should not be changed to a Protestant service. The Vatican II sect was outraged that the video became so popular, but were unable to find something to take people away from that "schismatic priest" and put desperately needed money in their greedy pockets.
Hence, the so-called "Catholics (sic) United For The (pseudo-)Faith" resurrected the old Bp. Sheen video to compete. Remember, there was no FSSP at the time, and most priests who were ordained before Vatican II either were "rusty" with the Latin and rubrics, which wouldn't make a good video, or they were thoroughly Modernist and hated even the thought of offering the real Mass again. But no worries! They had a video of "America's Bishop" a man known for his sanctity, learning, and orthodoxy, unlike the "schismatic" and even "heretical" Fr. DePauw! The "conservative" Vatican II sect members mostly fell for it. Little did they know that Bp. Sheen himself, like the video they were using, was a Modernist ploy; trying to get people away from the Church. Fulton John Sheen (1895-1979) was a real wolf in Shepherd's clothing. Despite having a reputation as an incredible orator and preacher from his popular TV show Life Is Worth Living (1951-1957), the facts tell a different tale. Ordained a priest in 1919, and consecrated a bishop in 1951, Sheen was Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of NYC from 1951-1966 before becoming Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester, NY for the years 1966-1969. What seems like a stellar ecclesiastical vocation, was anything but that.
My information on Sheen comes primarily from three (3) sources: Treasure in Clay (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1993)--the bishop's posthumous autobiography; America's Bishop: The Life and Times of Bishop Sheen by Thomas C. Reeve (Encounter Books, 2001), and The Fulton J. Sheen Sunday Missal (Hawthorne Books, Inc, 1961).
The Facts On Bp. Fulton J. Sheen
- He considered his participation in the Council one of the "great blessings" of his life. He helped Modernist Fr. John Courtney Murray in the passage of the heretical document Dignitatis Humanae (On Religious Liberty). The bishops from America were almost completely Modernists, or Modernist sympathizers. The only two major exceptions were Francis Cardinal Spellman of NYC (with whom Sheen would often fight) and Bishop Richard Henry Ackerman of Covington, Kentucky (a personal friend of Archbishop Lefebvre). The bishops from America had long smelled the polluted air of "separation of Church and State" embedded in the Masonic U.S. Constitution. Sheen was no exception.
- He spoke at a synagogue as Bishop of Rochester and later told Jews, "We have the same God, and we are His people."
- He encouraged attendance at a "revival crusade" by Protestant minister Rev. Billy Graham. How many would lose (or have doubts about) Catholicism after hearing the popular "evangelist"?
- His personal library contained over 3,000 books by Protestant theologians on Sacred Scripture. He urged his priests and seminarians to use such books. When one priest complained that books by heretics have no place in the Church or Her seminaries, Sheen replied, "...you've got to remember that the Holy Spirit works through them too." Sheen had fully bought into heretical ecclesiology of Vatican II: "...the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them (false sects) as a means of salvation..." (Unitatis Redintegratio, # 3)
- He condemns Traditionalists as "schismatic" and "heretical." He counseled a woman in 1978 not to attend a Traditionalist chapel as it would lead her "...into schism and even heresy." He had this to say about the Mass: "The changes made by Pope Paul VI were not doctrinal changes, they merely changed from Latin to the vernacular. There have been many changes in the Mass down through the centuries. The Lord never said Mass in Latin; He used the language of the time. Moreover, the change in translation does not alter the meaning of the text. I am always looking for translations that make the Scriptures more understandable and clear." Could a man with an earned doctorate actually believe that? One need only look at the incredibly poor translation of the 1961 Missal bearing his name to see how he made things "more relevant" by purposeful mistranslations.
- In his missal, for the Words of Consecration over the Wine, Sheen translates them as: "For this is the Chalice of My Blood of the New and eternal testament: the mystery of faith: which shall be shed for you and for the multitude of mankind so that sins may be forgiven." (Emphasis mine) The preface states that the translation is the work of the editors, but I find it incredulous that Sheen couldn't make changes or edits in a work bearing his name; or didn't look it over, especially the Canon. "Pro multis" is "for many" as any first year Latin student could tell you. "For the multitude of mankind," while not strictly speaking heretical, lends itself to sound like the Novus Bogus "for ALL" which came in 1969. Sheen subscribed to universalism, and was a disciple of apostate Fr. Teilhard de Chardin.
- Sheen believed in the "anonymous Christian" theory of heretic Fr. Karl Rahner, stating, "Christ is hidden in all world religions, though as yet His face is veiled as it was to Moses, who asked to see it" Christ is "hidden" in Islam? Really?
- Although he was Director for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, he proudly and ironically professed, "...never once was there an attempt at what might be called proselytizing" on his TV show. I guess when you have no faith, there's really nothing to propagate.
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen was just another Modernist who had the veneer of orthodoxy and holiness to trap the unsuspecting. It's no surprise that John Paul the Great Apostate hugged Sheen in St. Patrick's Cathedral on October 2, 1979, calling the bishop a "loyal son of the Church (sic)." Equally no surprise is the fact that Sheen is a candidate for "sainthood." (Isn't everyone except Catholics these days?) Fulton Sheen told us "life is worth living." Unfortunately, he never understood that we are destined for eternal life with Christ, which can only be attained through His One True Church. That's what really makes this life worth anything at all.