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, 22 November 2010

Which Pope are you?

A friend told me that he has recently done an online questionnaire as to which, amongst recent Popes, he was most alike. In his case the answer was Pius VII. The questionnaire did not go too far back into Papal history, but if it did...

Well of course you might well turn out to be a saint, but just suppose you turned out to be Paul IV, Julius II, Alexander VI, Urban VI, John XXII, Boniface VIII, Celestine V (who was canonized as St Peter of Morone, of course), Innocent IV, Innocent III, Urban II, Gregory VII, Benedict XI, John XII ( Wikipedia is restrained in its details as to the circumstances of his fatal stroke...) or Stephen VI. That is not to say they were bad men, and in many cases proved to be great Popes, but they were, well, interesting and characterful.

Mind you, you would really worry if you were John XX...

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