CNA: Statue of St. Junipero Serra Torn Down in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park

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Statue of St. Junipero Serra inside Golden Gate Park. (Wikimedia Commons.)

During the eighteenth century, the saint founded nine Catholic missions in the area that would later become California, many of those missions would go on to become the centers of major California cities.

By Catholic News Agency, 6/20/20

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — A statue of Catholic missionary St. Junipero Serra was toppled in a San Francisco park Friday, along with statues of Francis Scott Key and Ulysses S. Grant.

The statues were torn down Friday evening from Golden Gate Park, by a group of about 100 people.

– Joe Rivano Barros@jrivanob – Activists just toppled the Junipero Serra statue in Golden Gate Park here in San Francisco. Now they’re onto Francis Scott Key, slave owner and writer of the Star Spangled Banner

St. Serra helped to convert thousands of native Californians to Christianity and taught them new agricultural technologies. The statue in Golden Gate Park was first placed in 1907, and was crafted by well known American sculptor Douglas Tilden.

Critics have lambasted St. Serra as a symbol of European colonialism and said the missions engaged in the forced labor of Native Americans, sometimes claiming Bl. Serra himself was abusive. …

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