Pope Benedict XVI is known for his love of luxury, especially expensive shoes. In fact, for his 2007 pope-a-month calendar, Benedict sported several pairs of red Prada loafers, so you know the Bishop of Rome has got to come correct!

The pope recently shared his love of fine Italian shoes with the homeless in Minneapolis. After giving Vatican representatives a tour of Sharing and Caring Hands, a homeless mission, the nonprofit received two large boxes containing several dozen pairs of handmade Italian shoes from the pope. Mission director Jo Copeland described the papal charity as "Just grand! This is just the best gift. That Pope Benedict, wherever you are, God bless you!"

Now I don't want to sound like a crank here, but what is up with giving a homeless shelter a bunch of pricey shoes? At best, it's impractical. At worst, it's insulting.

Seriously, if the pope really wanted to do something for the poor of Minneapolis, why not finance some health insurance or pay for a little workplace training?

After all, if you give a man a pair of expensive Italian shoes, he'll look stylish for a day, but if you teach a man how to earn his expensive Italian shoes, he'll look stylish for a lifetime.

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