We were as surprised as anyone when Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio — read ambassador — to the United States, today gave out a detailed itinerary of Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to the United States next April.
Typically, the nuncio’s address to the U.S. bishops on the opening day of the bishops’ fall general meeting doesn’t make such big news. We always cover the talk — here’s a link to our story on an address by Archbishop Sambi last year — because the nuncio’s words often offer an important glimpse into the Vatican’s thinking on a variety of issues or simply give an encouraging word to the bishops on their work.
But I can’t remember the last time when the secular dailies did anything on the nuncio’s address. Let’s hope for their sake that their reporters at the meeting in Baltimore weren’t taking an early coffee break because they thought the speech wouldn’t be “news,” even though there had been numerous reports that the trip itinerary might be on Pope Benedict’s desk.