Junipero Serra

My thoughts on the sainthood of Junipero Serra and veneration of Spanish missions in California. (excerpt from my forthcoming book, Turtle Road)

“The modern analogies we use to understand the missions impact their legacy. Were they technical colleges and Christian retreats, or concentration camps and plantations, stealing the labor of indigenous nations to build an overseas empire?

California’s tribes have not been the only ones suffering from centuries of whitewashing the purpose and practice of these missions. WWII Japanese Internment camps, California military bases situated on former mission land and the state’s ubiquitous migrant-exploitative factory farms, all have systemic roots in these missions.”

Pope Francis has asked for forgiveness for the Church’s sins.  Sanctifying Junipero Serra is a move in the opposite direction.

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