I believe the way the deal works—going on my memory of Canon Law 101 at Catholic U (which I am still paying for)—is the bishop gets the suit and can choose to do nothing with it. In that case after 40 days it goes to the Roman Curia (bureaucracy) at the Vatican to act on, or sit on. I forget what all the rules are when Rome has it, but we’ll definitely cover this deeper after the weekend, if not before.
My guess is Archbishop O’Malley in Boston will not do anything about the suit but, possibly, deny Kerry communion. The presence of the suit could possibly make Kerry stop making Catholic Mass a photo-op for him, but if it doesn’t, his bishop really has little excuse to not make his status clear. And that’s not to effect the election–I frankly don’t know that any of this can help Bush, and it might even hurt him–but because it is the right thing to do: for the faithful individually and generally. That includes the Democratic candidate and a good number of the Republican convention’s prime-time lineup (Pataki, Rudy, Arhnuld…).