There were two Catholic boys, Timothy Murphy and Antonio Secola,
whose lives parallel each other in amazing ways. In the same year
Timothy was born in Ireland, Antonio was born in Italy.
Faithfully they attended parochial School from kindergarten through
their senior year in high school. They took their vows to enter the
priesthood early in college, and upon graduation, became priests.
Their careers had come to amaze the world, but it was generally
acknowledged that Antonio Secola was just a wee cut above
Timothy Murphy in all respects.
Their rise through the ranks of Bishop, Archbishop and finally
Cardinal was swift to say the least, and the Catholic world knew
that when the present Pope died, it would be one of the two who
would become the next Pope.
In time the Pope did die, and the College of Cardinals went to work.
In less time than anyone had expected, white smoke rose from the
chimney and the world waited to see whom they had chosen.
The world, Catholic, Protestant and secular, was surprised to learn
that Timothy Murphy had been elected Pope!
Antonio Secola was beyond surprise. He was devastated, because even
with all of Timothy's gifts, Antonio knew he was just a bit better qualified.
With gall that shocked the Cardinals, Antonio Secola asked for a private
session with them in which he candidly asked, "Why Timothy?"
After a long silence, an old Cardinal took pity on the bewildered man
and rose to reply.
"We knew you were the better of the two, but we just could not bear the thought
of the leader of the Roman Catholic Church being called POPE SE-COLA!