Saint and Spinner

The situation is reminiscent of the two monks, Theophilus and Gottlieb, who are quarreling over whether one may engage in smoking and praying at the same time. Theophilus, an unbending ascetic, says no. Gottlieb, an easy-going smoker, says why not. They meet again some weeks later. Theophilus triumphantly reports, ‘I took the issue to the pope. I asked him point-blank “Is it permissible to smoke during prayer?” and he said “Absolutely not.”‘ Gottlieb protests: ‘That’s not what he said when I asked him.’ He smiles sheepishly. ‘Of course I did phrase the question a little differently. I asked him “Is it permissible to pray while I smoke?” and he said “Of course.”‘

— Leo Katz, Bad Acts and Guilty Minds, 1987