State Appreciation Day
While Migliore was summoned to prep strategy for the upcoming UN General Assembly, the rounds of visiting nuncios is a usual rite of Vatican summer. But this year, with a new pope, there is the difference of three unique exigencies....
1. The Pope seeking particular briefings on local situations, maybe even his first in-depth explorations of those placesThe whole bishop-making operation is in for a Benedictine rejiggering. And along those lines came this morning's announcement that the prefect of the CDF (now on the ground in Rome) has been appointed a member of the Congregation for Bishops.
2. Possible consultation among his diplomatic corps on the appointment of a new Secretary of State -- coming soon to a San Damaso near you
3. Making known to the nuncios -- the first and most influential players in the appointments of bishops -- what he expects from them in their vetting and recommendations
This is no surprise as the Grand Inquisitor is virtually an ex officio member of Bishops. But now, the twice-monthly meetings of those members in Rome (the meetings that decide which name for a given opening will be sent upstairs to the Pope) will include a record five Americans: Cardinals Baum, Law, Szoka, Stafford and, now, the soon-to-be Cardinal Levada.
Will such a high-octane national presence mean that the process of filling vacancies will be quicker than it's been of late? As Sioux City enters its 20th month of vacancy, it's a pertinent question.