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Associated Press, October 19, 2020

The archbishop of San Francisco performed a short exorcism ceremony Saturday outside a Catholic church where protesters had earlier toppled a statue of Father Junipero Serra, saying the ceremony was intended to drive out evil and defend the image of Serra.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone performed the ritual before some 150 supporters before holding a special Mass inside St. Raphael Catholic Church and an expected march to a Planned Parenthood clinic, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Serra was an 18th-century Spanish missionary priest and the father of the California mission system. The Franciscan priest has long been praised by the church for bringing Roman Catholicism to what is now the western United States, but critics highlight a darker side to his legacy. In converting Native Americans to Catholicism, critics say he forced them to abandon their culture or face brutal punishment. …

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