Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

IDOLATRY? 'Get that thing down, immediately,' Pope Francis says of Argentinean statue

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 11th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It was a nice thought - a life-sized fiberglass statue of Pope Francis. The pope has other ideas, however - wishing to avoid the "cult of personality" that surrounded other popes, Pope Francis ordered the statue down. "Get that thing down, immediately."

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis, at the age of 76, has found himself to be a most unwilling media celebrity. A household name and on countless newspapers and magazines, he has been adamant that the message of the church, and not him, is his mission on Earth.

Believers have visited the statue to pay homage to it ever since being installed in the cathedral's garden two weeks ago. Tourists have had their pictures taken alongside the figure. The fiberglass statue is five feet, six inches tall and has been a fixture of the cathedral since the end of June.

The former Archbishop of the Argentine capital, Pope Francis was reportedly horrified at the news.

Strong words with the priest responsible were exchanged between Francis and the priest responsible. "Get that thing down, immediately," the Argentinean newspaper Clarin reported.  
Since his election in March, Francis has gone to lengths to be seen as humble, showing little patience for the pomp and fuss that come with his position as head of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

Eschewing the robes and trimmings traditionally allocated to the Pope, Francis continues to wear a simple white cassock and iron cross.

Refusing to move into the luxurious Papal apartments, claiming they are too grand, Francis prefers to live in a humble guesthouse for visiting clerics, with whom he eats meals and offers mass every morning.

His celebrity, however, is to be expected. Vanity Fair magazine has declared Francis as Man of the Year in the magazine's Italian edition. "His first 100 days have already placed him in the category of world leaders who make history," the magazine says. "But the revolution continues."

In business unrelated to the statue -- Pope Francis has recently been accused of encouraging illegal immigration after his declaration of solidarity with asylum seekers and economic refugees during his visit to the island of Lampedusa.

Francis said the tens of thousands of migrants from Africa and the Middle East who arrive from Tunisia and Libya should be dealt with compassionately, calling them "brothers and sisters of ours, trying to escape difficult situations to find some serenity and peace."

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)