In 1978 David Brown was at the Vatican in that "Year of Three Popes," the title of a book by Peter Hebblethwaite.
The death of Pope Paul VI, and the election of Albino Luciani, as Pope John-Paul I, seemed to indicate little change in 400 years of particularly able Italian leadership in the Church, and this was reflected in David's SABC radio documntary Habemus Papam.
Thirty three days after his election, however, the new Italian pope died, and David was among the many media men and women who returned to the Vatican for another Sede Vacante period, this time culminating in the election of Karol Woytila as Pope John-Paul II, the first Polish pope in the history of the papacy. A resulting second radio feature programme, John-Paul, a Legacy of Two Popes, was eventually combined with the first documentary in the production of a long-playing record, titled Habemus Papam, and released by the American Catholic newspaper Our Sunday Visitor.
The last-mentioned recording includes the voices of Owen Cardinal McCann, then Archbishop of Cape Town in South Africa; Maurice Cardinal Otunga, then Archbishop of Nairobi in Kenya; Sergio Cardinal Pignedoli, then President of the Secretariat for Non-Christians (now the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue) at the Vatican; John Cardinal Krol, then Archbishop of Philadelphia in the United States; Terence Cardinal Cooke, then Archbishop of New York; John Cardinal Deardon, then Archbishop of the American city of Detroit; Basil Cardinal Hume, then Archbishop of Westminster in London, England; and Johannes Cardinal Willebrands, then Archbishop of Utrecht in The Netherlands.