The Holy Father may be gravely ill, but he’s still working. The Vatican this morning announced eight new bishop appointments. The most significant was the appointment of Bishop Leopoldo Jose Brenes Solorzano of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, to succeed Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo of Managua.
Some of the media are reporting 17 new bishops and archbishops were appointed, but I don’t know where they’re getting that information. The official Vatican press statements only included the eight, unless there was a newer statement that I haven’t seen yet.
Update: According to this article he did appoint that many bishops and archbishops today, or more accurately, he approved them over the past few weeks and only today were the names released.
A bishop is notified of his appointment some time before it is made public to allow him to prepare, but when a pope dies, all pending appointments become null and void. They must have cleared out the queue in fear of the impending death.