The June Holdup
We haven't had an American appointment since May 17, when Honolulu got its new bishop and Fort Worth was given a coadjutor. A month without anything -- especially as summer approaches -- might seem abnormally long. But the traditional practice at the Vatican is to delay any announcements completed within a week or two of the meeting of the conference of bishops (which starts Thursday in Chicago) until after the meeting, so bishops-elect don't have to spin into making arrangements to be there.
That said, we might see upwards of three or four nominations come next week. The added benefit of the delay, unique to this year, is that B16 has the opportunity to go back into the case files and do some scrutineering of his own. As John Allen says all the time, the appointment of bishops will be a much more stringent process from the top in this pontificate.
Benedict XVI's first pallium class will be a sizable one, so far as the States are concerned.
Four Americans -- Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, Jose Gomez of San Antonio, Joe Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston and Joe Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas -- will be in the Square on June 29. Dziwisz and Vingt-Trois will be with them, among others.
An open question remains whether the new metros will receive the modern Roman-style pallium or a copy of the larger pallium B16 has taken for himself. I'm told that, as the documents have referred to the "back to the future" model as the "Petrine pallium," that it is the Pope's alone, until further provision is made.
But are differing designs appropriate to something that's supposed to be a symbol of communion? I wonder....
I honestly don't know. I'll have to ask the guy who's supposedly off to Ischia, Piero Marini.