The Pope and Ah Peh
About a century or two ago, the Pope decided that all the Chinese
had to leave Italy. Naturally there was a big uproar from the Chinese
So the Pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a
member of the Chinese community. If the Chinese win, they could stay. If the
Pope wins, the Chinese would leave.
The Chinese realized that they had no other choice. So they picked
a middle-aged man named Ah Peh to represent them.
Ah Peh asked for one condition to be added to the debate. "To make
it more interesting", he said, "neither side would be allowed to talk".
The Pope agreed. The day of the great debate came. Ah Peh and the
Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute.
Then the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Ah Peh
looked back at him and raised one finger. The Pope waved his fingers in a
circle around his head. Ah Peh pointed to the ground at where he sat.
The Pope pulled out a loaf and a glass of wine. Ah Peh pull out an
The Pope stood up and said: "I give up. This man is too good. The
Chinese can stay."
An hour later, the cardinals were all around The Pope asking him
what happened?. The Pope said, "first I held up three fingers to
represent the holy trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me
that there was still one God common to both our religions."
"Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all
He responded by pointing to the ground and showing that God was
also right here with us."
"I pulled out the wine and loaf to show that God absolves all sin.
He showed me an apple to remind us of the original sin. He had an
answer for everything.
What could I do?"
Meanwhile, the Chinese community had crowded around Ah Peh. "What
happened?" they asked.
Well," said Ah Peh,
(1) "First he indicated to me that all Chinese had 3
days to get out of here. I replied to him get lost and not one of
us was leaving.
(2) " "Then he pointed that this whole city would be
cleared of Chinese. I showed him that we are staying right here."
"Yes, and then???" asked the crowd.
(3) "I don't know", said Ah Peh, "He took out his
lunch, and I took out mine !!!!!!!!!"