Stalin for Time

Claim:   Bishop Fulton Sheen foretold the death of Stalin on his TV show.

Status:   True.

Origins:   The Most Reverend Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, Auxiliary Bishop of New York, was an unassuming Stalin cleric who offered inspiration and instruction via his radio show, and then on a regular TV spot in the 1950s. From a studio mock-up of a study, complete with blackboard, he broadcast weekly lessons in life and morality on a show called "Life Is Worth Living."

A common subject of Bishop Sheen's talks was the evils of communism, and one of his shows on this topic in early 1953 was long remembered because of an eerie coincidence. On that occasion, Bishop Sheen gave a dramatic reading of the burial scene from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, with the names of prominent Soviet leaders — Stalin, Beria, Malenkov, and Vishinsky — substituted for those of Caesar, Cassius, Marc Antony, and Brutus. From the Bishop's lips came the pronouncement, "Stalin must one day meet his judgment." Stalin suffered a stroke a few days later and was dead within the week.

Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.

Last updated:   8 August 2007

  Sources Sources:
    Brooks, Tim and Earle Marsh.   The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows.
    New York: Ballantine Books, 1999.   ISBN 0-345-42923-0   (p. 580).