Thursday, February 28, 2013

About Those Red Shoes

I was raised Catholic -- the whole nine yards...alter boy, Catholic elementary school, high school, and unintentionally even Catholic college -- but I'm not quite sure what I'd call myself now: lapsed, disenchanted, agnostic, a pro-choice liberal formerly known as Catholic? Whatever category I'd fall into, I'm not loosing a wink of sleep over Benedict's decision to toss in the papal towel.  If it serves to bring in a more progressive or believe it or not a black Pope, all the better, but given the recent history of the Catholic Church I'm not holding my breath.

Now, about those red shoes. From HuffPo...
When he emigrated from his native Peru to Rome, Italy, Antonio Arellano never imagined he would end up measuring the foot of one of the most influential men in the world: Pope Benedict XVI. He still can't believe that his little shoe store, in the Borgo Pio neighborhood, close to Vatican City, became the favorite of cardinals and religious leaders. 
Pope Benedict XVI doesn’t use Prada shoes, as was speculated at some point about the red pair that have been his trademark throughout his pontificate period, which ends this February 28. 
The man behind those iconic red shoes is, in fact, Hispanic. They are a product of Peruvian artisan Arellano. Arellano left Peru in 1998 looking for a better future. He came to Rome with little knowledge of the language, but with the most powerful weapon he had at the moment: his shoemaker skills. After setting up his business, suddenly, Arellano began receiving visits by several religious personalities, until one day he finally met Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger Aloisius, who later became the 265th Pope.

"The Pope is treated the same as all clients. He doesn't accept any favoritism and pays just as others do," he said.

1 comment:

Anita said...

Little Catholic girl here, too - Not quite the whole nine yards, though. I made it through 5th grade - St. Mary's Academy - the "black" Catholic school in downtown Norfolk; next door to the beautiful, landmark church next door, with the Infant Home (nuns) and the projects across the street.

I'll stop myself from writing a journal entry here... but thanks for the memories. :)

Oh, and the Pope... don't know what to say. I feel so far removed. Reminds me of a post I wrote a while back titled, "Why Do We Believe What We Believe?"

A black Pope? Wouldn't that stir things up a bit!

Too bad he has to give up the red shoes.


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