Today is the Festival of the Titular of the Cathedral, Christ Church, of the Catholic Diocese of Oxford ... erected as such by Cardinal Pole by virtue of the Legatine Decree Cum supremum of December 24 1554 ... except that there isn't such a diocese ... well, I don't think there is ... wasn't it implicitly extinguished by the Restoration of the Hierarchy in 1850? ... or do those old dioceses still exist in some sort of canonical limbo presided over by Plato?
I do wonder what to make of those former dioceses and their cathedral churches; as Blessed John Henry put it, "It was sore to part with them. We clung to the vision of past greatness, and would not believe it could come to naught ..." His maturer judgement was more robust: " ... That old Church in its day became a corpse (a marvellous, an awful change!); and then it did but corrupt the air which once it refreshed, and cumber the ground which once it beautified." Could anyone but JHN have got away with calling the C of E a rotting and stinking corpse, even in those pre-ecumenical days? But he says it so beautifully.
When all is said and done, I sometimes feel that there is a shadow left in the air of Catholic England; a footprint left in the ground. I suppose the tourists won't think along those lines today, as they tramp unknowingly past the grave in Christ Church of the first and last Catholic Bishop of Oxford, Dr King. Yet, when all is said and done, it would be a comfortable sentimental acknowledgement of what once was, if in the Old Rite or the Ordinariate we kept those old Feasts of the Titulars of the pre-1559 Cathedrals as Doubles of the First Class!