So the Pope Emeritus will still wear white, but he doesn’t keep the red shoes. These are just two of the gradually emerging details relating to the life of Benedict XVI, post-resignation.
I can understand why some Catholics find such details arcane and maybe even embarrassing. Why is this news? Won’t people think we Catholics obsess over minutiae?
But I can also understand why other Catholics, and also some non-Catholics, find this stuff interesting. I find it interesting myself. As Dr Peters observes, this is history in the making. The Vatican is making it up as it goes along, because precedents are scarce. In the life of a 2,000 year old Church which esteems Sacred Tradition, that doesn’t happen very often.
Is the colour of the ex-pope’s wardrobe important? No. It’s trivial. But I like trivia.
Meanwhile, the Cardinal-electors must be feeling the weight of their duty. For better or worse, it falls to 116 men (at last count) to make a decision which a billion or so Catholics have an interest in.