Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis Canonizes Junipero Serra During U.S. Visit

Pope Francis' trip to the U.S. has drawn massive media attention, and I'll be blogging on Pope Francis soon. In the meantime, I'll focus on one of the controversial aspects of his visit.

On September 23rd, Pope Francis canonized Junipero Serra at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. Serra, an 18th century Spanish Franciscan friar who established numerous missions in California, has drawn fire for his role in the colonization of California and abuse of Native Americans.

To read additional commentary, visit the following links.

Indian Country Today Media Network: Suzan Shown Harjo to Pope Francis: Don't Canonize Junípero Serra

Los Angeles Times: What California Indians lost under Junipero Serra, soon to be saint

Think Progress: Native Americans Protest The Pope’s Canonization Of A Man Who Abused Their People


  1. Interesting perspective on Junipero Serra. I also think Pope Francis has had some very caring and compassionate things to say to Americans. But I am getting tired of the wall to wall coverage of his visit.

    1. Donna -- I've skimmed through transcripts of some of his U.S. speeches this week. While I disagree with the Pope on many topics, I'll admit that his speeches were relevant and sound on topics such as fundamentalism, refugees, the poor, and the environment. As for canonizing Serra, I think it was a bad idea.


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