California Governor Gavin Newsom did what everyone expected him to do when he signed legislation to remove a statue of St. Junípero Serra from the state Capitol in Sacramento. We opposed this decision but almost every lawmaker was against us.
The attack on Serra is motivated by ignorance of his meritorious service to Indians in the 18th century, and a visceral hatred of Catholicism overall; it has been going on for years. The removal of the statue comes after vandals defaced it and tore it down on July 4, 2020.
On October 11, a few weeks after Newsom’s decision to displace the statue of St. Serra, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city would no longer call the park across from Union Station by what it is commonly referred to, Fr. Junípero Serra Park.
The only good news is that Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert filed felony vandalism charges against one of the persons who destroyed the monument to St. Serra in the city.
Newsom and Garcetti preside over the most outrageous exploitation of homeless people in the United States, yet they have the audacity to accuse this Franciscan priest—who treated Indians with respect and demanded that they be given their natural rights—of oppressing them. It doesn’t get much sicker than this.
Pope Francis canonized Fr. Serra in 2015. Honest scholars know that the pope was right.