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Pope to wear white, but no red shoes after abdication

Shoemaker Antonio Arellano, whose customers include Pope Benedict XVI, in his shop in downtown Rome.
Shoemaker Antonio Arellano, whose customers include Pope Benedict XVI, in his shop in downtown Rome.Tony Gentile / Reuters, file

Since Pope Benedict announced he was to become the first pontiff in six centuries to abdicate, there has been speculation about what clothes he will wear and even what his name will be.

On Tuesday, the Vatican announced Benedict would continue to be called “Your Holiness Benedict XVI” and become the “pope emeritus.”

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi told a daily news briefing that the pope would wear a “white cassock,” Reuters and The Associated Press reported.

However, his ring of office as pope will be destroyed – as is traditional – and he will stop wearing his trademark red shoes.

The Associated Press explained:

Benedict has taken a liking to a pair of hand-crafted brown loafers made for him by artisans in Leon, Mexico, and presented to him during his 2012 visit. He will wear them in retirement.

Lombardi told reporters that Benedict, previously Joseph Ratzinger, had made the decisions himself.

Pope Benedict XVI leads his last Sunday Angelus prayer before he steps down in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on Feb. 24.Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters

The Vatican press office refused to comment or elaborate on the briefing, but said more details might be posted on its website later.

Benedict stunned the world when he announced on Feb. 11 that he was going to quit, saying the papacy required “strength of mind and body,” and that his had deteriorated in recent months.

His abdication will come into effect on Thursday.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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