Finally! Pope Benedict just named Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, an Italian (obviously), as his nuncio to the US. We had been without one since July.
The nuncio has a complicated job. Not only is he the Holy See’s ambassador to the United States, he’s also in charge of overseeing the extraordinarily complex process of funneling recommendations for new bishops to the Pope for his choice. (Traditionally, the nuncio sends a list of three names to Rome for the Pope to choose from one of them, though the Pope can of course ask for a new list, as happens occasionally.)
So if you’re in Fresno, Salina (KS), Baker (OR), Pensacola-Tallahassee, Steubenville, or Tyler (TX), you’re waiting for a new bishop and this can speed up the process!
But everyone’s eyes are even more on Denver, Baltimore, and Indianapolis, which are waiting on new archbishops.