My first though is this smacks of good ol' American celebrity worship. Yes marriage is a public event. But public in a local and personal way, not the Enquirer sort of public star gazing way. Friends and the locality have the right to know someone is married so actions can be viewed as proper and without scandal. But following someone else's problems for 16 years could be viewed as obsession.
Second, yes I believe the annulment process is seriously flawed if not corrupt in some places in the US. What legal system in the U.S. hasn't been tainted by our affluence and desire for power. We are taught to seek control of everything in our lives and this even affects our religion.
Was justice denied by being delayed so long. Probably. But just as the reasons for annulment are confidential, we can't pretend to know the inner workings of the Curia either. Annulment is a slow bureaucratic process here in the U.S. So it stands to reason that examining the appeal of that process is going to be slower. Perhaps largely because of the bureaucrats that ruled incorrectly in the first place. And that leads to my final point.
We have the religion we deserve here in the U.S. We are fat and egotistical, obsessed with power and the desire to control every facet of our lives. We don't like being told we are wrong, but if admitting being wrong in the past gets us what we want now, we will swallow that small bitter pill for today's ecstasy. Polluting our bodies and water supply are insignificant side-effects, subservient to the need to control our fertility by chemical means. And we seek out pastors and shepherds that will affirm us rather than correct us. More often the wrath of God is him allowing us to learn the hard way about the pain of sin while the mercy of God is rapid correction and chastisement. Or simply, wrath is letting us have our way. Give me the quick reproof anytime.
Almost 40 years past our rejection of the prophetic Humanae Vitae, are we surprised that our shepherds who were silent on that infinitely more important matter are slow to respond on this minutia?
Lord have MERCY on us.