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.