Why Junipero Serra's Sainthood Is a Slap in Face of Native Americans
Pope Francis during his upcoming visit to the United States, plans to, among other things, canonize a Spanish priest who made his name converting Native people in California to Catholicism: Father Junipero Serra, who worked at the Missions San Juan Bautista and Santa Cruz. The Pope last week, in front of news media, kissed a cross that was buried with Serra.
But many members of Native American tribes in California disagree with the decision to canonize Serra. Louise Miranda Ramirez, tribal chairwoman for the Ohlone Costanoan-Esselen Nation, based in Monterey, California said, “I hear people saying, ‘Oh, he loved the Indians.’ I don’t think so…His goal was to remove our culture. You have to beat ‘em, torture ‘em, remove them from their homeland.”