Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pope demands a statue is removed


The cathedral authorities in Buenos Aires erected a statue to Pope Francis in the cathedral precinct a few days ago, as soon as he found out Pope Francis was on the phone and demanded they get rid of it. It was installed by the creator of BA's religious theme park Tierra Santa (Holy Land), by a Mr Fernando Pugliese, who seems to specialise in the kitch.

17 comments:

Supertradmum said...

Well is any statue better than no statue? Kitsch is the name of the game in other countries--I would have put up a kitsch statue of Piero Marini, kneeling in front of Mary.

johnf said...

It looks grotesque. I could never understand why Our Lady of Fatima is depicted with a top heavy crown - perhaps there is a religious significance that escapes me.

The statue of the Pope is just as bad - mind you not as bad as that of Bl JPII in Rome in which he looks like Darth Vader

Patricius said...

It doesn't even resemble him!

johnh said...

Its gross !! Does it wave or have moving eyes ??

Anton said...

It's not Our Lady of Fatima . It is the Vigin of Lujan

GOR said...

I suspect the Holy Father was horrified that a ‘graven image’ of him was put up and – unsurprisingly - he immediately ordered its removal. I would not have wanted to be on the receiving end of that phone conversation!

Contrast that with the installation of a bronze pedestal of Ab. Weakland that was installed in the Milwaukee Cathedral a few years ago.

Did Weakland immediately order its removal…? Of course not!

Which in itself is instructive…

Amfortas said...

It is a dreadful statue! Looks like one of those dreadful waxworks from Madame Tussaud's.

DrAndroSF said...

As something of a traditionalist, Father, I am surprised that you dropped the subjunctive in your posting title: Pope demands a statue be removed.

Usus antiquior.

parepidemos said...

GOR, I am no fan of former Archbishop Weakland, but to be both accurate and fair, he was no longer ordinary when the relief was erected; thus, he had no jurisdiction. Also, unlike the statue of Pope Francis who stands alone next to La Virgen, the one in Milwaukee has several images apart from that of Weakland.

nickbris said...

Beginning to look as though our Jesuit Pope really did say The Pantomime is over.

His Holiness wants to get back to basics and put the Church back up where it belongs

GOR said...

Parepidemos, I’m well aware that Weakland was not in office when the sculpture was erected. I live here, you know.

Do you think he didn’t know it was being planned? Did he object to it?

Not that I have heard - before or since.

The fact that the Blessed Virgin is depicted doesn’t excuse his inclusion. Children were also depicted. Children! – after Weakland’s record here…? What a travesty!

johnf said...

Whether Virgin of Lujan or OLOF, the crown still looks top heavy

James C. said...

I feel bad for the artist, however untalented he is. No doubt the statue was made with a sincere devotion. So, as a reminder: No statues for Francis, no gifts of beautiful vestments, and no "Pelagian" spiritual bouquets either.

Unknown said...

It's an awful statue, no doubt.

Unknown said...

It's an awful statue, no doubt.

But, is it me, or is Papa Francesco a bit too self conscious about these things? I have a sense that his discomfort in being seen wearing papal garb, or doing things that he would consider to be frivolous (like attending concerts or living in the AP) cause him embarrassment. Is it humility at work here? or fear of being humiliated?

I know that is a harsh assessment of an obviously holy man...but we're all human.

John Nolan said...

I remember back in JP II's day some enterprising manufacturer produced bars of soap in the image of the Pontiff and marketed them as shower accessories with the brand name "Pope on a Rope".

Archer Balls said...

The statue is surely dreadful and reminds me of the "Buddy Jesus" statue in the film Dogma. Having said that though, it was made in good faith and no doubt with devotion and it isn't blasphemous. Its presence expresses the the pride of the Argentinians in their countryman and affirms and confirms their fidelity to the Pope.

Francis is our Holy Father and I will listen to, pray for and respect him as such. Having said that, I get the feeling that he rides roughshod over custom, practice and tradition, which is a of personalization of his office, something some priests and bishops seem to have been doing for years, so much so that when a priest/prelate actually adopts customs and practices proper to his office,it appears that he is merely expressing something of his own identity and not that of his office.

Pope Francis' request that the statue be removed was a little rude and insensitive in my opinion. He might not like it and he seems happy to chop and drop those things HE doesn't like or think necessary. He is happy to demand others acquiesce to his preferences while riding roughshod over customs and practices that are proper to the office of pontiff and very dear to many of the faithful.

I don't think statues of the popes always smack of there being a cult of personality, people have been making representations of pontiffs for eons, it's an office essential to our faith. Today's technology simply allows those representations be more accurate than in the past. A man in the 13th century carved a pope,a man in the 21st century carves a pope, but he knows what the pope looks like, so it is immediately identifiable as the current pontiff.

I imagine it is terribly difficult to take on an ecclesiastical office that has been so heavily personalised by the one you have succeeded, but personalising the office of the Roman pontiff simply seems to me to be giving a nod to "innovators" while trapping your successor in the same cycle.

It might be an ugly statue, but ordering its removal to avoid the cult of personality, while personalising the high office you have been given seems a tad contradictory and even a little dictatorial.