BLOOMINGTON - The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen is one step closer to sainthood with word that a panel has attributed a miracle to his intervention.
Sheen, an El Paso native, gained fame from broadcasts that started in the 1930s. He died in 1979.
According to a statement issued by the Catholic Diocese of Peoria, the next step is for the case to be reviewed by a board of theologians, then cardinals and bishops, before Pope Francis determines whether to name Sheen "blessed."
A second miracle would be required before Sheen could be declared a saint.
There is no timeline for the reviews.
The diocesan statement said the case involved a stillborn baby born in September 2010. The child was lifeless for more than an hour despite medical attention, and the child's parents and loved ones "began immediately to seek the intercession of Fulton Sheen. After 61 minutes the baby was restored to full life and made a full recovery. The child, now 3 years old, continues in good health."
Sheen, born May 8, 1865, attended schools in the Peoria Diocese and was ordained in Peoria.