That is how I had first thought to describe the maker of a suggestion in the Times newspaper, that the United Kingdom should have a Patron Saint. Ian Bradley is a presbyterian minister who has worked in the University of St Andrews (founded by the Antipope Benedict XIII). Since the cultus of the Saints is not one of the most deeply-rooted characteristics of the daily life of the Presbyterian Church, I will concede that Bradley may not enjoy a Catholic or an Orthodox instinct in these matters. So I won't describe him as Profoundly Silly. But that hasn't stopped him from lecturing the rest of us; and Profoundly Silly neatly characterises his suggestion.
England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, of course, have their respective Patron Saints, woven into the histories of those great Countries. But never the Yewkay.
Because the Yewkay is a fragile and unstable and unreal construct. Invented in 1707, it subsumed Ireland less than a century later; lost most of Ireland little more than a century after that. In the eighteenth century, the exiled de jure monarchs, and their adherents in both Scotland and England, as well as foreign powers, declined to accept the validity of "the Union". It is now beset by separatist movements in Scotland, Ulster, Wales, Cornwall, and (most recently) the Orkneys. (I await up-to-date intelligence from the Isle of Wight and the Goodwin Sands.) The Yewkay resembles an inhabitant of a medieval leper colony ... bits dropping off all the time. It must be just about the most protean and ridiculously misdescribed "Nation State" in the world.
It is not a real country. It actually consists, of course, of England and the few other portions of this Atlantic Archipelago which England's colonial mentality has managed to hang onto.
Bradley's nominee is S Aidan. With no disrespect to him, one might think of S Theodore ... a Greek Syrian appointed by a Roman pope to be Archbishop of Canterbury. With him as Patron, all those thousands of young Middle Eastern men who daily flood across the Channel under Mr Sunak's benevolent eye might feel even more patriotically British.
I am going to nominate S GERMANUS, in the Martyrology for today, who in the declining days of civilisation in Britannia restored Catholicism to a country ravaged by Pelagian heresy ... the perennial error of this country ... and won a massive victory over the invading Barbarians. Alleluia!! (Observing liturgically S Germanus today in the diocese of Portsmouth seems to me in accordance with the provision that "The Mass of any third-class feast that is displaced by a higher-ranking third-class feast may be said instead of the higher-ranking third class feast, with a commemoration of the higher-ranking feast at low Mass". Would you really miss S Ignatius??)
The age of S Germanus was, in many ways, less a decadent than a Golden Age; when a bishop would be a Big Man and part of the political as well as of the religious elite, and possess even militatary capabilities; when S Prosper left us his aphorism about the priority of the lex supplicandi and S Leo negotiated the barbarians out of his hair and perfected the Roman Canon and defined the Hypostatic Union; and S Vincent wrote magisterially about what is, and what is not, 'Development'. That generation bequeathed to us the building blocks for our own necessary refutation of, and resistance to, the current ecclesial regime.
Sancte Germane, Sancte Lupe, orate pro nobis.
But Bradley's entire notion is, indeed, most profoundly silly. It fails, as a poor Presbyterian may be expected to fail, to understand that Patron Saints engage with their clients diachronically as well as synchronically; they bear us through the passing centuries, standing for us before the Throne of Grace in bad times as well as in good.
This is not an institution for smart little transient poppets with clever ideas, to mess around with.