To be sure, the Vatican doesn’t observe The 4th… still, the place’s annual obsession with fireworks over these days has never exactly been a secret.
At least, it’s not for those who’ve been around here long enough. Even for that, though, what we’ve just seen – and what’ll come of it – is simply on another level in terms of the broad sweep of things.
Long story short, apart from the days surrounding B16’s resignation and the Conclave that followed, this scribe simply can’t recall a more dramatic nor impactful news-cycle than the one suddenly sprung over the last 10 days: Above all else, of what’re now the three principal dicasteries of the Roman Curia, two of their heads were wiped out within 48 hours.
Lest that didn’t sink in the first time, read it again.
Put another way, when a Consistory isn’t the top-line of the week – let alone the month – in which it happens, Peter and Paul gets lost in the shuffle, and no less than the Pope’s pick for Europe’s largest diocesan seat is practically an afterthought, if you don’t know how uncharted this is, you’re not paying attention.
All around, while July 1 normally signals the end of the circus, the threads now afoot have made the period ahead anything but routine. For starters, we’re 10 days out from a moment without precedent – the Vatican’s #3 official in criminal court back home, facing the specter of watershed sex-charges (their precise nature yet to be clarified). And that’s leaving aside the customary last bits already decided, but not yet announced… a good few events of wider import on tap… and, indeed, the sheer unknown that’s always with us.
As you might expect, by this point in a “normal” July, this scribe can really use a breather… of course, that’s all the more this time around, but finding one will be a bit trickier than usual. So if and when things are able to go quiet here for a couple days here and there over the next few weeks, hopefully you’ll understand – my family and friends would appreciate it.
When it comes to the major stuff, however, the intent is to be in the saddle here – at least, to the degree that you make it happen.
Ergo – with a boatload of thanks to everyone who’s helped the shop get through the first round of these days – as the bills are ever a work in progress, keeping things going is the one part of this work that’s fully in this readership’s hands…
Lastly, while some have been giving these pages grief over how the “Holy Office” train rolled through, suffice it to say, the first reports on it simply didn’t meet Whispers’ standards of verification – and on a move as high-octane as that, the sheer risk of getting it wrong just isn’t worth destroying one’s reputation over (even if, given history, that very confluence would’ve been deliciously fitting).
Still, much as the standard “rule of three” wouldn’t be met before the announcement itself, one senior Vatican op did confirm the CDF buzz amid the war-zone of last Friday afternoon, putting the full outcome of the moment at hand in these words:
“Yes, Müller is leaving…. And Pell will never return.”
At least so far, time and events have proven him right… and for the rest, stay tuned – that is, as you’ll so permit.