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Fashion conscious faithful snap up Pope hoodies

posted 13 Sept 2010, 02:56 by Mpelembe   [ updated 13 Sept 2010, 02:59 ]

Unofficial Pope hoodies and t-shirts are a hit with Catholics, keen to declare "I love Papa Benny" ahead of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Britain this week.

Hoodies in the UK are normally associated with menacing teenagers hanging around on street corners, but one Catholic company is using them to allow the faithful proudly show off their love of the Pope.

The fashion conscious faithful are snapping up the "I love Papa Benny" and "Team Benedict" sweatshirts and T-shirts ahead of Pope Benedict XVI's state visit to the UK later this week (September 16-19).

"Catholics With Attitude", a UK company, has come up with the designs for the unofficial Pope merchandise and they are printed in the Spreadshirt factory in Leipzig, Germany.

Catholics With Attitude won't say exactly how many tops they've sold, but confirm sales have gone through the roof in recent weeks as the faithful get ready for the Pope's visit.

While the official Pope merchandise, such as prayer cards and rosaries, shows images of the Pope in his mitre, the Catholics With Attitude designs are more groovy, based on basketball hoodies.

The "Vatican All Stars" hoodie is another popular one, along with "Good Catholic Girl" in pink and "Good Catholic Boy" in blue.

Hoodies cost 22 pounds (34 USD) and T-shirts 15 pounds (24 USD).

The Pope will meet the Queen in Edinburgh, hold an open mass in Glasgow for tens of thousands of pilgrims. He'll then spend two days in London, where he'll meet Prime Minister David Cameron and host a huge vigil in Hyde Park. He spends his last day in Birmingham, for an open air service to beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman.