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 Secola.”