There were two Catholic Boys, Timothy Murphy and Antonio Secola,
whose lives paralleled 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 was just a cut above
Timothy in all respects. Their rise through the ranks of Bishop,
Archbishop and finally Cardinal was meteoric to say the least, and the
Catholic world knew that when
the present Pope died, it would be either Timothy or Antonio 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 who they had chosen. The world, Catholic,
Protestant and secular was surprised to learn that Timothy Murphy had
been elected Pope!
Antonio was beyond surprise, he was devastated, because even with all
Timothy's gifts, Antonio knew he was the better qualified. With gall
that shocked the Cardinals, Antonio asked for a private session with them
in which he candidly asked, "Why Timothy?"
After a long silence, one old Cardinal took pity on the bewildered
Antonio 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 Secola.