For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Why is 'Radical Pope' Canonizing an Enslaver of Native Americans?
WASHINGTON - NBC reports: “More than 20,000 people are expected to converge on a Washington basilica Wednesday to witness the canonization of Junipero Serra, who brought Christianity to California some 300 years ago.”
CORRINA GOULD, shellmoundwalk at yahoo.com
Gould is co-founder Indian People Organizing for Change (and is a member of the Chochenyo Ohlone people, indigenous to what is now northern California). She said today: “The canonization of Serra is not complicated or complex. Its fairly simple, My ancestors were enslaved at this concentration camp created by Serra for his own ego, for the Spanish crown and for the Catholic Empire. Serra didn’t save us. We already had our own religion! In fact, we were the ones that were civilized and it was Serra that introduced us to HELL.”
BILL BERKOWITZ, wkbbronx at aol.com
Berkowitz wrote the piece “Franciscan Friar Who Brought Destruction and Death to California’s Native Peoples Canonized by Pope,” which states: “During his July visit to Bolivia, Pope Francis ‘apologized for the “grave sins” of colonialism against the native people of the Americas,’ USA Today’s Bill Theobald recently reported. ‘I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offense of the church herself, but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America,’ the pope said. Why then is Pope Francis canonizing Junípero Serra, the embodiment of crimes committed against native peoples in California?
“Why is Pope Francis conferring sainthood on a man whose actions led to the destruction of native peoples in California? Sainthood for Serra, a man who founded missions where native peoples were imprisoned and tortured, and where thousands died?"
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