Pope Francis I has ordered the removal of a life-sized statue of him erected in the gardens of the Cathedral in Buenos Aires.
Upon hearing about the statue the Pontiff got on the phone to his former diocese and asked that it be removed immediately reported the Argentine website, Clarin.com.
Despite the fact that the statue had only been erected for less than two weeks it had become popular with the public. However the Pope was horrified by the news. He told the dioceses to “Get that thing down immediately.”
The diocese had also proposed a museum to the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires but it has not been mentioned if the Pontiff would veto this also.
Catholic Church sources said the Pope is determined not to create “a cult of personality” surrounding his position, like that enjoyed by Pope John Paul II.
Despite being the head of the Vatican with 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, Francis has displayed humility since his election in March. He does not often wear the ceremonial, decorative robes associated with the position, has refused to make the Papal palace his home and declines bullet proof protection while in front of the public. Instead he’s know for shaking hands, kissing babies and even laying his hands on the public.
Just last week he invited 200 homeless people to the Vatican to dinner.
However, the new Pope’s celebrity status is unavoidable. This month he has been named as the Man of the Year by Vanity Fair’s Italian edition. This announcement was followed by endorsements such as Elton John’s tweet: “Francis is a miracle of humility in an era of vanity.”
Later this month Pope Francis will visit Rio during the Roman Catholic youth fest. The deputy security secretary for Rio de Janeiro state, Roberto Alzir Dias Chavez, told the Gulf Times, “We are expecting up to 1.5 million people.”
He added that they are prepared for up to 2.5 million visitors to greet the South American pope.