S Thomas's Sunday went very well; and this morning (the actual Solemnity of his Translation) I said a quiet missam sine populo secundum formam antiquiorem. I remembered, in addition to the obvious people to be remembered, the members of General Synod who have the opportunity today of making an ecclesial structure for us - or of refusing to do so - as they redecorate the new Church of England so as to be resplendent with what (recalling the medieval Christmas custom of dressing up little lay boys as boy-bishops so that they could preside over the brief and jolly period of misrule) we might call girl-bishops (I fear that phenomenon may less brief and might be attenuated in its jollity).
As I extinguished the candles before the statue of S Thomas, my eye lingered on the pallium that he is wearing. And, on an impulse, I went round the statues and windows of the church counting pallia. We have five of them.
Then I came home and reminded myself what the Holy Father said about the pallium just recently when delivering them to his new Archbishops. They symbolise ...the reality we indicate today by the word collegiality among bishops ... no-one is pastor by himself ... [the pallium] refers to communion with Peter and his successor as a guarantee of unity. Thus, the pallium speaks to us of the catholicity of the Church, of the universal communion between the pastor and his flock. And it refers us back to apostolicity: to communion with the faith of the Apostles on which the Church is founded.
Suddenly it struck me: that's what's wrong with the Church of England. Archbishop Rowan must have a pallium, because he flaunts it on his Coat of Arms, and presumably in doing so he is not transgressing our Trade Descriptions Act. But he keeps it in his wardrobe and never actually wears it.