Thursday, December 29, 2005

Where is the Catholic Church heading ?

Pope Benedict's fashion statement
by the Associated Press

Pope Benedict is his own man when it comes to dressing.

Just days before Christmas, Benedict showed up at his weekly public audience in St. Peter's Square wearing a fur-trimmed stocking cap that could have passed for a Santa Claus hat.

Earlier this month, he made another fashion statement -- donning a red velvet cape trimmed in ermine for the traditional papal visit to the statue of the Madonna near the Spanish Steps that marks the beginning of Rome's Christmas season.

Coming after gossip about his wearing Gucci sunglasses and bright red Prada loafers, the vintage styles have turned Benedict into something of a fashion celebrity.

"Those red shoes have made quite an impression," said Vatican historian Alberto Melloni.

Karim says: In the few weeks following the election of
Joseph Ratzinger to the Papal office, commentators all over the world started to scrutinize the new pope's record, and to speculate about possible similarities and differences between him and the late pope John Paul II. Now, we know for sure about at least one difference: while the former pope's demeanor inspired modesty and may have reminded the believer of higher, divinely inspired values of charity and compassion, pope Benedict XVI has adopted a fashionable style which, by contrast, may inspire more attraction to material artifacts which have an essentially wordly nature. With the passing away of John Paul II, the Roman Catholic Church has lost perhaps the best representative it has ever been able to produce, in today's pop-culture-dominated world, of the spiritual values it endeavors to teach, and I am afraid it is not about to truly replace him any time soon.

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