The Church of England has been forced to issue a clarification after being accused of “trolling” atheist Richard Dawkins.
The Church tweeted “prayers for Prof Dawkins and his family”, as it was announced that he had suffered from a stroke.
The Oxford biologists, and an outspoken critic of religion, suffered a minor stroke, it was announced on Friday.
After the Church sent its tweet, many described it was insensitive due to the 74-year-old’s views, while others questioned whether the Church was “trolling” Dawkins.
Scottish politician Murdo Fraser tweeted “Top trolling by the C of E”.
But the Church was forced to release a statement on Saturday, saying criticisms of the tweet “stemmed from a misunderstanding of what prayer is.”
Reverend Arun Arora released the statement, saying Dawkins’ views were “more nuanced that both supporters and detractors would usually acknowledge.”
“I hope he makes swift and full recovery and wish him the best of health. I will pray for him too. It is the very least I can do,” the statement continued.
Not acknowledging the controversy, Dawkins released an audio statement saying his condition was “getting much better.”
He spent four days in hospital and was later discharged.
Dawkins last October lashed out, after students called for author Germaine Greer to be blocked from giving a talk because of her anti-transgender views.
He previously spoke out in support of Mary Portas’ brother, for donating sperm to his sister’s wife.
Last January he released a pretty funny video in which he reads homophobic hate letters he has been sent.