Since he was selected to replace Pope Benedict, a man so desperate to sleep in on Sunday he gave up the papacy, people have been wondering exactly what type of pope, Francis would end up being. Would he be a Marxist, spewing social liberation theology a la George Wallis pope? Would he be a moderate? Would he fight corruption in the church? Would he even acknowledge corruption in the church?
As the old saying goes, “If you want to know the measure of a man, simply look at his shoes.”
If ruby slippers could get the job done for the Dorothy and Benedict, why is Pope Francis passing them up?
First, a little history on papal footwear: While slippers are practical, comfortable, and have been in vogue since last year, the papal red slipper dates back a few thousand years when the Pontifex Maximus wore them. Red was used to symbolize power, and throughout the centuries the papal slipper endured many a mark-over. To name a few, there was the addition of gold tassels, a gold cross, a little bling, and then a final subtraction of those elements.
The red slipper tradition (the indoor version made of velvet, the outdoor made of leather) was carried on all the way up to Pope John Paul II, whom though he was later buried in them, favored a pair of brown orthopedic Doctor Scholl’s.
Pope Benedict has a way of making sure he belongs in a category all by himself. Proclaiming to be such a fan of the red slipper look, he even forked out big bucks for his own personal cobbler, Adriano Stefanelli, to make them. Benedict, while speaking out against capitalism,
was is a big believer in flare.
Flare is the first of many places where it seems the new Pope differs from his predecessor. Thus far for all of his public and press appearances, Pope Francis I has been clad in well-worn and simple black shoes, that have definitely seen better days.
According to Vatican Radio, his style was call for concern for some in the priest hood. “The day he was departing for the conclave, a couple of friends brought him a pair of shoes. He’s always very humbly dressed and the shoes he was wearing were not in very good shape.”
Wow, someone humble? Someone whom practices what he preaches? There’s a nice fashionable ring to that.
Now PDers, if you’re more a Pope Benedict without the personal cobbler fund fan, check out these $15 papal slippers on eBay.