Pope asks for removal of Buenos Aires statue

From The Telegraph:
Francis, who as Jorge Mario Bergoglio was archbishop of the Argentine capital until his election as pontiff in March, reportedly objected to the statue because he is “against the cult of personality”.

He telephoned Catholic clergy at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires to request that it be “removed immediately”.

The life-sized statue, which was installed about 10 days ago, depicts Francis in a white cassock and skull cap, smiling and waving with his right hand.
Very cool.

This Pope just astounds and inspires me. I believe that I understand why he chose the name Francis. At first I thought that it was for St. Francis Xavier because he is a Jesuit. But he did tell us that he chose the name for St. Francis of Assisi. He would not have had to verbalize this fact to me. St. Francis is also my favorite saint after Our Lady of course.

Pax et Bonum


Wow! That is really something.

Let us pray that the statue is removed as he requested. God Bless Pope Francis.

Seems like prudent idea, considering.

When i read the title of this thread and the first part of the quote at first I thought it might be a reference to the famous giant statue of Christ, but that is in Rio de Janeiro not Buenos Aires. It’s all Greek (or Latin, rather) to me. I’m glad no one has raised an objection to that statue or called it a cult of personality though. It’s of Jesus Christ after all.

But I think I like this objection to a statue of himself, at some level at least. If Buenos Aires wanted to set up a statue of him after his death or retirement I would be all for it, even if I know he wouldn’t have been. Humility may drive a person to not want a statue of themselves to be set up, or a rejection of worldliness (one of Pope Francis’s themes so far) may cause a dislike of civic statues in general, but in the end the Second Coming has not occurred yet and it is authentically patriotic for the people of a city to set up statues of their great men and women. You can’t, or shouldn’t, impose a monastic spirituality on the laity. It would be one of those instances in which sinners can be right and saints wrong on a particular issue, like St. Francis’s objections to some reasonable moderations in Franciscan praxis towards the end of his life. Or like Dorothy Day not wanting her admirers to seek her canonization.

But while the Pope is still living and in office it may be premature to set up statues of him, and an indication of a real cult of personality in the negative, ultimately idolatrous sense.

Edit: I just actually clicked on the link and noticed this was the Cathedral setting up the statue, not the city. Not cool. It could so easily be interpreted as religiously venerating the man when he is still alive and liable to sin. Also the statue itself is hideous.

It looks like a very nice statue. Hopefully, they will find another place to display it other than in the garden next to Mary.

Joining my prayers to yours that his request will be honored.

That statue is creepy. And it is cool that Francis is trying to tamp down on papadolatry. I wonder how the chanting Jesus rather than Francis project is going.

Actually it’s Portuguese :smiley:

That’s my point. Portuguese or Spanish, Brazil or Argentina, same difference. :wink:

(making fun of my own ignorance here; please no one get offended.)

That statue doesn’t even look like the Holy Father.

As expected from Pope Francis;he is paving his way through humility to sainthood

:eek: Wow, Pope Francis never ceases to amaze me. Such a display of humility was long awaited. :smiley:

Does anyone remember seeing statutes of other popes anywhere while they were still alive? I don’t remember seeing any for John Paul II or Benedict XVI. It seems to go very much against Catholic tradition to erect a statute before someone dies, we do that for saints (or in the case of John Paul II, one who we expect to be declared a saint). I question why it was installed in the first place. Certainly Pope Francis was right to ask it to be removed. Lots of things to like about this pope, but this is really just a common sense decision on his part.

Well put. Not cool at all. We can certainly find ways to show respect and express love for the Holy Father without erecting statutes at Cathedrals or churches. I would say, considering our Catholic tradition of statues and religious art of saints, there is only one way of interpreting it: exactly as you indicate.

To be fair to the Holy Father, the statue makes him look rather odd. It looks like one of those superhero dolls that you purchase at a toy store. It’s not as bad as the one of Pope John Paul II that they revealed for his beatification. At least this one doesn’t look like an outhouse with a bowling ball on top.

Why they would create such a statue and place it in the Marian garden is beyond me. I can see a simple plaque on a wall in honor of their archbishop who was elected pope. They had those all over Poland when Pope John Paul was elected.

I think that Pope Francis does not like any kind of portrait of himself. He still does not have an official papal portrait. What is circulating is simply a photograph that someone at the Vatican chose out of the many that have been taken of him.

That’s what I thought when I first read the thread title.

I agree. Ordinarily I think it would be extremely rude to ask for the removal of a statue that people paid probably good money for, but considering the cartoonish face and the Pope’s religious identity, I don’t think this is so unreasonable. The JPII statue was and remains atrocious.

The cassock of this statue is quite good, but the face is very bad.

This is also a crucial point IMO. Unless you are a monarch and your face is on currency–the Pope’s is on Vatican Euros, for example–it is generally odd to have these kinds of things made while a figure is still alive. It would be like putting a living president’s face on money. I am also kind of weirded out that living presidents have libraries named after them.

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