This kind of news used to poke my interest. Internet discussions of ten, twenty years ago were dense and quick and rife with suspicion–this was before people separated out into their own social groups. Thirty years ago, slow news would be chatted up over a beer or coffee. Things were pretty segregated in those days too, and ideological opinions were kept closer to the chest. Still, there was cancelling to a degree.
I don’t remember such a visitation in my professional lifetime. Described here, as reported in The Tablet and quoted by Archbishop Arthur Roche, CDWDS number two:
It is more in the nature of the consultations a diocesan bishop would have with his Vicar General and others when he is appointing a new Parish Priest. In such an instance the idea is to get to know the needs of the parish, the actual situation, as well as having an eye to its future direction.
What might that future direction be? Some people focus on personalities and make of this a hermeneutic of celebrity: which prelate will take over and what will his ideological ground be? Others might ponder various candidates and wonder how the tea leaves are reading.
I suspect Pope Francis cares less for all this. He did retain Cardinal Sarah for six years, even when the men were supposedly at odds over things like facing a direction or washing feet. I suspect the Holy Father wants a competent Congregation, and he is personally less concerned about finding someone who aligns with how he presides at Mass. He has suggested that the Curia exists to serve the Church. Will a new prefect favor a hotline, a Q&A column, an openness to input from the fringes of the world? That one will likely get the appointment, but only if they are able to manage a department with some degree of harmony.
As for me, the Church’s liturgy is in an era of stasis. I see no developments that will cheer or sour me. Parishes, including mine, emerge from the pandemic and we will strive to recover what was lost. If help is in the offing, it won’t come from Rome. Nor need it. I will find it with colleagues, my archbishop and pastor, and the parishioners who work with me.
This makes for somewhat interesting political talk. Not much more.