Even more than usual, the last 11 months have seen no shortage of notable stories come up, only to get washed out within hours by the latest curveball on the crisis front.
Among other instances, this happened last July when – at the start of what should've been a quiet summer weekend – a Friday night saw the first report of plans for the all-important ad limina visit of the US bishops: American Catholicism's first Roman "exam" in the age of Francis...
Dawn - Morning - Announcement - Theodore - McCarrick
...yet before dawn the next morning, the announcement of Theodore McCarrick's forced resignation from the College of Cardinals – the first ouster of its kind in nearly a century – didn't just rightly take over the news-cycle, but turbo-charged it.
While the Stateside resurgence of the scandals had already been brewing for five weeks to that point – beginning from the first revelation of a credible abuse report involving a minor against McCarrick and the then-cardinal's initial suspension from ministry on June 20th – in hindsight, the extraordinary step of yanking the red hat from the now-former cleric was the moment the dam really broke, and the ferocity of the oncoming current has only increased since.
Light - Ad - Limina - Piece - Storm
In that light, as the ad limina piece was reported with little inkling to the "perfect storm" that would quickly follow – August's release of the Pennsylvania grand-jury report having dropped a gas tank on the situation – the ongoing inferno has served to recast the shape of the four-month visit, which begins in early November, and whose key preliminary element, the mammoth "Quinquennial Report" on each of the nation's 197 dioceses, is only now beginning to come due.
As the Quinquennials are to be submitted to the Washington Nunciature six months before the scheduled visits by the 15 USCCB regions, the first incoming batch over these...
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