Benedict gets kangaroo slippers and a recyclable throne

Organisers of Pope Benedict's upcoming visit to Brazil are making him a throne of recyclable materials while a Italian shoe manufacturers have given the pontiff 15,000 pairs of shoes for the poor plus a kangaroo hide pair for himself.

The "cathedra" or papal throne, which is being donated by a charitable group, will be over 1.5 metres high and nearly 1 metre across, Catholic World News reports.

It will be used during major liturgical celebrations at which the Holy Father presides.

The use of recyclable materials will highlight the keen interest in ecological issues that are especially high on the agenda in the Amazon basin.

Meanwhile, the Herald-Sun reports that Pope Benedict has been presented with 15,001 pairs of shoes.

During a visit to Vigevano, known as Italy's shoe capital, a consortium gave the Pope one pair for himself and 15,000 pairs for the world's needy.

The Pope was given red loafers designed and made by the Moreschi firm and made from kangaroo hide.

The Pope last year made headlines after reports that some of his shoes were designed and donated by top Italian fashion houses such as Prada, but the Vatican has never confirmed this.

Recyclable throne for Pope's Brazil visit (Catholic World News, 23/4/07)
Pope gets heart and sole (Herald-Sun, 24/4/07)

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