Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Poor Prof. Dawkins

It really is so very sad when one reads that Richard Dawkins, along with Christopher Hitchens, is hoping to get get the Pope arrested when His Holiness pays his visit to the country in September. Poor Prof. Dawkins' comments in recent weeks are just getting a bit too embarrassing on the subject. Once upon a time one thought he was, at least, entitled to his opinion (something he clearly does not think other people are - but no matter), but of late, well, someone really ought to do something. Valle Adurni includes his website under humour, but should one mock the afflicted?

I have heard of senior academics taking colleagues, or perhaps their relatives, on one side and discreetly suggesting medical help or a rest cure. It does not have to be as dramatic as the late Sir Kenneth Dover's claim that he actively thought of murdering the late Trevor Aston because his alcoholism was embarrassing to Corpus Christi College (How we all laughed at those memoirs!). No, something tactful, a word with the Hon Mrs Dawkins (unless she is herself thinking of such action) or the family physician and the Prof could be sent off to rest. There are, I gather, discreet places which provide suitable care. It would, of course, cost money, but probably less that Prof. Dawkins and Mr Hitchens will waste in the courts trying to stop the Pope. Care in the community is clearly not working in this case. Something has to be done, if only for the good name of Oxford University.

Mind you they had better warn the medics not to wear white coats on this occasion - the sight of that might lead the poor Professor to believe that a bevy of Popes had come to get him, and one wonders if he might overreact and inflict some harm upon them or himself.

1 comment:

_ said...

"A bevy of Popes"... if only it were possible. The thought of hundreds of otiose atheists turning up to disrepect the Holy Father in September, only to find themselves facing ten thousand Sovereign Pontiffs, is pleasing if bizarre.