Pope Benedict XVI will give up his Swiss Guard protection, his Twitter account and even the name “Benedict” when he officially abdicates tomorrow. But judging by the Twitter chatter, the greatest loss of all may be his shoes.
The pope’s red leather loafers became something of a trademark during his time in office, landing Benedict in a few unexpected places — including the style pages of Esquire magazine, who named the pontiff “accessorizer of the year” in 2007. Several pairs were handmade by an artisan in the north of Italy who has also cobbled for John Paul II, Barack Obama and George W. Bush, writes Italy’s ANSA news; Antonio Arellano, a Roman cobbler, has also made shoes for the pope.
The Vatican announced today, however, that Benedict would give up the shoes when he becomes “Pope Emeritus.”
I know it was a big deal back then, but I forgot about it. How bizarre is this?