LINK: Pope Overlooks ‘Cultural Genocide’ In Canonizing Fray Junipero Serra

534943_256543797788726_1399311071_n.jpg

From: http://laprensa-sandiego.org/editorial-and-commentary/commentary/pope-overlooks-cultural-genocide-in-canonizing-fray-junipero-serra/

***

Pope Francis’ confirmation of his plans to canonize Fray Junipero Serra in September has led Serra’s supporters to rejoice, but has ignited strong protests among some Native Californians who reiterate their claim that Serra oppressed their ancestors and was no saint.

The pope made his case for Serra, founder of nine California missions, at a May 2 visit to the North American College in Rome, surrounded by California bishops, including Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, who calls Serra his “personal hero.”

Critics say that Francis, who recently called attention to the 1915 genocide against Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, has a blind spot when it comes to the brutal Spanish conquest of the Americas.

Vatican officials, faced with criticism from native Californians, assert that Serra was a “man of his time” who had his faults, but who often defended the Indians against the abuses of predatory Spanish Soldiers.

This view is shared by Franciscan Fr. Ken Laverone, who is involved in preparing for the upcoming canonization ceremonies in cooperation with the California bishops conference.

Laverone cites historian Robert Senkewicz, author of a new book on Serra, who writes that Serra was not perfect and that canonizing him is not blessing what happened to California Indians during the mission period.

“One sees qualities (in Serra) that are very consistent with what the church has long held up as indications of sanctity,” Senkewicz said in a recent interview with the National Catholic Reporter.

Laverone told La Prensa San Diego that Franciscans are currently in dialogue with descendants of mission Indians, though he said there were no plans to hold Masses of reconciliation with the tribes such as those that took place under Bishops Francis Quinn of Sacramento and Daniel Garcia of Monterey.

“Don’t jump the gun,” Laverone said. “These dialogues are an ongoing process.”

Not all friars agree with the Serra canonization. Some, like my classmate Fr. Ignatius DeGroot, have mixed feelings.

“Serra protected the Indians in a limited way,” said DeGroot, who serves as pastor of the San Carlos Indian Mission near Tucson, Arizona. “but he was part of Spanish culture that regarded Indians as nothing. If the pope had asked me, I would have said, ‘No, don’t do it.’”

De Groot added, “A saint, in the tradition of the church, is someone the people look up to and imitate. Serra is certainly not that.”

When asked why the strong message of nonviolence preached by Francis of Assisi was apparently lost on the friars during the Spanish conquest, De Groot responded: “It was the Spanish culture that overpowered those ideals. Francis would never have done those things. We see the same thing today. Can you picture Jesus Christ wearing a mitre?

Native leaders insist that despite their good intentions, Serra and his friars were tools of oppression and cultural genocide whose policies led to forced conversions, enslavement and deaths through disease of 100,000 Indians between 1769 and 1821.

“Fr. Serra came down decidedly on the side of violence as a necessary mission strategy,” wrote theologian George Tinker, a member of the Osage / Choctaw tribe. “To excuse violence and brutality as European cultural affectation cannot remove the stigma and pain from native recipients who were used to far gentler ways.”

Tinker describes cultural genocide as “the systematic undermining of the integrity of native culture and values, including religious practices, family structures, food production and social organization.”

San Diego tribal leaders have similar thoughts. “The canonization is a tough call for our people because many are devout Catholics,” said Christobal Devers of the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians at a Native American graduation ceremony at Cal State San Marcos.

“We have never received an apology for the atrocities committed against our people such as the whippings and the forced marches,” said Devers. “ We are only a small voice, but most of us oppose the canonization of Serra.

Dr. Joely Proudfit, chairperson of the Native American Studies Department at CSUSM concurred with Devers. Said Proudfit, “We need to counter the propaganda regarding this canonization. Right now we are preparing a fact sheet to tell the public who Serra was and what he really did.”

The question is, how can the Catholic Church lift Serra out of this sordid context to pronounce him a saint? And how could Serra, while acting with the best of intentions, not have been aware of the devastation that was taking place under his watch?

Recently, Valentin Lopez, chairman of the Amah Mutsun tribe, sent an open letter to Pope Francis describing the punishments the friars meted out to his ancestors.

Lopez wrote: “Your decision to canonize Serra is a clear message that our reality of poverty, suicide, depression and substance abuse will continue to impact the lives of our members for many more years and perhaps many more generations.”

I spent my novitiate year at Mission San Miguel, but I was never aware of that, in 1799, Fray Antonio Horra who lived there, wrote, “The treatment shown to the Indians is the most cruel I have ever read about in history….They receive heavy floggings, are shackled, put in stocks, and kept days without a drink of water.”

Horra was later declared insane and sent back to Spain.

It is not clear whether or not Pope Francis is fully aware of the deep feelings of many Native Californians on the Serra canonization. But the fact that the ceremony will take place in Washington D.C. instead of California is an indication that the event is controversial here, to say the least.

Mark R. Day is a former Franciscan friar, a filmmaker, journalist, and labor activist. He lives in Vista.mday700@yahoo.com

Be Sociable, Share!

.col-full #top

La Prensa San Diego

#logo

/search #searchform

.col-full #header

  • Featured

  • Breaking News

  • Stories»

  • Community Notes

  • La Columna Vertebral

  • Orbituary

  • The Mercado Report

  • ¡No Se Deje!

  • Editorial and Commentary»

  • Comentario

  • Commentary

  • Editorial

  • Tezozomoc

  • The Public Forum

  • Classifieds»

  • For Rent

  • Employment Opportunities

  • Minority Contracting Opportunities

  • Real Estate For Sale

  • Services Offered

  • Etc. Etc. Etc.»

  • Ask A Mexican

  • Entertainment

  • Reviews

  • SPORTS

  • Food Page/Tid Bits

  • Photos

/rss .col-full #topmenu

Pope Overlooks ‘Cultural Genocide’ In Canonizing Fray Junipero Serra

May 22, 2015

Commentary

Commentary:By Mark R. Day

Pope Francis’ confirmation of his plans to canonize Fray Junipero Serra in September has led Serra’s supporters to rejoice, but has ignited strong protests among some Native Californians who reiterate their claim that Serra oppressed their ancestors and was no saint.

The pope made his case for Serra, founder of nine California missions, at a May 2 visit to the North American College in Rome, surrounded by California bishops, including Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, who calls Serra his “personal hero.”Critics say that Francis, who recently called attention to the 1915 genocide against Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, has a blind spot when it comes to the brutal Spanish conquest of the Americas.

Vatican officials, faced with criticism from native Californians, assert that Serra was a “man of his time” who had his faults, but who often defended the Indians against the abuses of predatory Spanish Soldiers.

This view is shared by Franciscan Fr. Ken Laverone, who is involved in preparing for the upcoming canonization ceremonies in cooperation with the California bishops conference.

Laverone cites historian Robert Senkewicz, author of a new book on Serra, who writes that Serra was not perfect and that canonizing him is not blessing what happened to California Indians during the mission period.

“One sees qualities (in Serra) that are very consistent with what the church has long held up as indications of sanctity,” Senkewicz said in a recent interview with the National Catholic Reporter.

Laverone told La Prensa San Diego that Franciscans are currently in dialogue with descendants of mission Indians, though he said there were no plans to hold Masses of reconciliation with the tribes such as those that took place under Bishops Francis Quinn of Sacramento and Daniel Garcia of Monterey.

“Don’t jump the gun,” Laverone said. “These dialogues are an ongoing process.”

Not all friars agree with the Serra canonization. Some, like my classmate Fr. Ignatius DeGroot, have mixed feelings.“Serra protected the Indians in a limited way,” said DeGroot, who serves as pastor of the San Carlos Indian Mission near Tucson, Arizona. “but he was part of Spanish culture that regarded Indians as nothing. If the pope had asked me, I would have said, ‘No, don’t do it.’”

De Groot added, “A saint, in the tradition of the church, is someone the people look up to and imitate. Serra is certainly not that.”

When asked why the strong message of nonviolence preached by Francis of Assisi was apparently lost on the friars during the Spanish conquest, De Groot responded: “It was the Spanish culture that overpowered those ideals. Francis would never have done those things. We see the same thing today. Can you picture Jesus Christ wearing a mitre?

Native leaders insist that despite their good intentions, Serra and his friars were tools of oppression and cultural genocide whose policies led to forced conversions, enslavement and deaths through disease of 100,000 Indians between 1769 and 1821.

“Fr. Serra came down decidedly on the side of violence as a necessary mission strategy,” wrote theologian George Tinker, a member of the Osage / Choctaw tribe. “To excuse violence and brutality as European cultural affectation cannot remove the stigma and pain from native recipients who were used to far gentler ways.”

Tinker describes cultural genocide as “the systematic undermining of the integrity of native culture and values, including religious practices, family structures, food production and social organization.”

San Diego tribal leaders have similar thoughts. “The canonization is a tough call for our people because many are devout Catholics,” said Christobal Devers of the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians at a Native American graduation ceremony at Cal State San Marcos.

“We have never received an apology for the atrocities committed against our people such as the whippings and the forced marches,” said Devers. “ We are only a small voice, but most of us oppose the canonization of Serra.

Dr. Joely Proudfit, chairperson of the Native American Studies Department at CSUSM concurred with Devers. Said Proudfit, “We need to counter the propaganda regarding this canonization. Right now we are preparing a fact sheet to tell the public who Serra was and what he really did.”

The question is, how can the Catholic Church lift Serra out of this sordid context to pronounce him a saint? And how could Serra, while acting with the best of intentions, not have been aware of the devastation that was taking place under his watch?

Recently, Valentin Lopez, chairman of the Amah Mutsun tribe, sent an open letter to Pope Francis describing the punishments the friars meted out to his ancestors.

Lopez wrote: “Your decision to canonize Serra is a clear message that our reality of poverty, suicide, depression and substance abuse will continue to impact the lives of our members for many more years and perhaps many more generations.”

I spent my novitiate year at Mission San Miguel, but I was never aware of that, in 1799, Fray Antonio Horra who lived there, wrote, “The treatment shown to the Indians is the most cruel I have ever read about in history….They receive heavy floggings, are shackled, put in stocks, and kept days without a drink of water.”

Horra was later declared insane and sent back to Spain.

It is not clear whether or not Pope Francis is fully aware of the deep feelings of many Native Californians on the Serra canonization. But the fact that the ceremony will take place in Washington D.C. instead of California is an indication that the event is controversial here, to say the least.

Mark R. Day is a former Franciscan friar, a filmmaker, journalist, and labor activist. He lives in Vista. mday700@yahoo.com

Start Sociable

Be Sociable, Share!

  • inShare0

End Sociable Canonizing Fray Junipero Serra, Mark R. Day, Pope Francis /post #post-author #post-author Ad Spot

  • Advertise Here

Subscribe

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

col-left

Related Posts:

  • Waco Biker Mayhem Again Raises the Fierce Racial Double Standard

  • In Immigration Debate, Candidates Stake Ground but Miss Point

  • Without Hope, Blacks and Latinos Will Take to the Streets

  • Dual Promises On Immigration

  • Sin pelos en la lengua

/.fix/.woo-sc-related-posts col-right

Singular Ad Space /Singular Ad Space

← Inmigración: Entre litigios, retractaciones y más promesas

In Immigration Debate, Candidates Stake Ground but Miss Point →

#post-entries

You can start editing here.

If comments are open, but there are no comments.

No comments yet.

end #comments_wrap

Leave a Reply

Click here to cancel reply.

Name (required)

Mail (will not be published) (required)

Website

<p><small><strong>XHTML:</strong> You can use these tags: &lt;a href=&quot;&quot; title=&quot;&quot;&gt; &lt;abbr title=&quot;&quot;&gt; &lt;acronym title=&quot;&quot;&gt; &lt;b&gt; &lt;blockquote cite=&quot;&quot;&gt; &lt;cite&gt; &lt;code&gt; &lt;del datetime=&quot;&quot;&gt; &lt;em&gt; &lt;i&gt; &lt;q cite=&quot;&quot;&gt; &lt;strike&gt; &lt;strong&gt; </small></p>

end #respond /centercol

Widgetized Sidebar Top

La Prensa San Diego/La_Prensa_San_Diego_LIFE

&amp;lt;a target="_blank" href="http://adclick.g.doubleclick.net/aclk?sa=L&amp;amp;ai=Bfckk2SJqVbqJMIWolAKN84KAA7L47OYGAAAAEAEgADgAWIrq6LP2AWDJ9viGyKOgGYIBF2NhLXB1Yi04NDM0ODE3NTY0MjM4ODU4sgEVbGFwcmVuc2Etc2FuZGllZ28ub3JnugEJZ2ZwX2ltYWdlyAEJ2gGEAWh0dHA6Ly9sYXByZW5zYS1zYW5kaWVnby5vcmcvZWRpdG9yaWFsLWFuZC1jb21tZW50YXJ5L2NvbW1lbnRhcnkvcG9wZS1vdmVybG9va3MtY3VsdHVyYWwtZ2Vub2NpZGUtaW4tY2Fub25pemluZy1mcmF5LWp1bmlwZXJvLXNlcnJhL5gCoB_AAgLgAgDqAjI1MDk2L2FtZy5sYXByZW5zYXNhbmRpZWdvL0xhX1ByZW5zYV9TYW5fRGllZ29fTElGRfgChNIekAOsApgD4AOoAwHgBAGQBgGgBh7YBwA&amp;amp;num=0&amp;amp;cid=5GiiVhLrhqYWFzn1cCC-tsE2&amp;amp;sig=AOD64_0ojbK9tKIS4_bPSNoxs9WfVz1Liw&amp;amp;client=ca-pub-8434817564238858&amp;amp;adurl=http://adclick.g.doubleclick.net/pcs/click?xai=AKAOjssoUryA1J4NRUw9mPa9AdRUJ78K3zTOk-bMTwt0jEGtNpbJfUYepX0vzHpKo_WQ8bHCnaFMnJcounkhP-xbRO4fo5W90vsacH8vlJ19LqVLvsyTLxEChzW4JK51jbRd6Yosbq9bP5eoGIPw&amp;amp;sig=Cg0ArKJSzBPlR51h120-EAE&amp;amp;adurl=http://casintabaco.com"&amp;gt; &amp;lt;img border="0" alt="" src="//s0.2mdn.net/3944245/300x250_q1_2015_ctpc_Knot_static.jpg" width="300" height="250" /&amp;gt; &amp;lt;/a&amp;gt;&amp;lt;a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/N5096/jump/amg.laprensasandiego/La_Prensa_San_Diego_LIFE;sz=300x250;ord=015d95643f44a9bc2f381babe1db3e74?"&amp;gt;&amp;lt; img src="http://ad.doubleclick.net/N5096/ad/amg.laprensasandiego/La_Prensa_San_Diego_LIFE;sz=300x250;ord=015d95643f44a9bc2f381babe1db3e74?" width="300" height="250" /&amp;gt;&amp;lt; /a&amp;gt;

Latest Videos

Latest News | Breaking Now

  • Brinde su opinión sobre el plan para el futuro de nuestra región

  • CLUB TIJUANA AND DANIEL GUZMAN PART WAYS

  • Xolos out of playoffs after 6-2 loss to Leon

  • Xolos fall to Atlas 2-1

  • Xolos shut out in 2-0 loss to CD Toluca

  • Advertise Here

/* OpenX Asynchronous JavaScript tag */ /* * The tag in this template has been generated for use on a * non-SSL page. If this tag is to be placed on an SSL page, change the * 'http://ox-d.sm.servedbyopenx.com/...' * to * 'https://ox-d.sm.servedbyopenx.com/...' */

  • Latest

  • Popular

  • Comments

  • Tags

  • 3 Ways to Personalize Your Party Treats May 29, 2015

  • States Humiliate the Poor With Food Stamp Crackdown May 29, 2015

  • Waco Biker Mayhem Again Raises the Fierce Racial Double Standard May 29, 2015

  • Voto Latino: Confirmando encuestas May 29, 2015

  • Peces gordos de la FIFA tras rejas May 29, 2015

  • SB 1070: A Little Bit of History Repeating April 23, 2010

  • Outdoor Industry Executives Help Clean Tijuana River Valley October 4, 2013

  • Over 100 Democrats Push Obama on Immigration Reform October 30, 2009

  • Beware the Ides of March, beware the backlash January 15, 2010

  • How will the University of California survive? July 17, 2009

  • Sigo asustado:Testigo que grabó la muerte de Walter Scott - JustMoreInfo Blog: […] Proposición “D” de National City, I...

  • joepublic: Council member Aguilar has the right idea. If the ...

  • Annie J: It is good that our City Officials are leading by ...

  • oskidoll: County tax records would reveal the owner of the H...

  • susan: Oskidoll--I think you have asked a very interestin...

Acuna Arizona art Barrio Logan border boxing Chicano Chicano Park Chula Vista culture Dream Act drug war economic development education Escondido farmworkers GOP Health Historia history Human Rights immigrant rights immigration immigration reform jobs Maribel Hastings media Mexican politics Mexico National City Obama Obamacare Planned Parenthood politics Republican Romney San Ysidro scholarships soccer South Bay state politics students tijuana US/Mexico border workers

/.boxes /wooTabs

Archives

Select MonthMay 2015April 2015March 2015February 2015January 2015December 2014November 2014October 2014September 2014August 2014July 2014June 2014May 2014April 2014March 2014February 2014January 2014December 2013November 2013October 2013September 2013August 2013July 2013June 2013May 2013April 2013March 2013February 2013January 2013December 2012November 2012October 2012September 2012August 2012July 2012June 2012May 2012April 2012March 2012February 2012January 2012December 2011November 2011October 2011September 2011August 2011July 2011June 2011May 2011April 2011March 2011February 2011January 2011December 2010November 2010October 2010September 2010August 2010July 2010June 2010May 2010April 2010March 2010February 2010January 2010December 2009November 2009October 2009September 2009August 2009July 2009

Archives

  • Pre June 2009

Calendar

May 2015

SMTWTFS

« Apr

12

3456789

10111213141516

17181920212223

24252627282930

31

  • Advertise Here

/secondary

  • Advertise Here

More…

Categories

  • Ask A Mexican

  • Breaking News

  • Comentario

  • Commentary

  • Community Notes

  • Editorial

  • Editorial and Commentary

  • Employment Opportunities

  • Entertainment

  • Etc. Etc. Etc.

  • Featured

  • Food Page/Tid Bits

  • La Columna Vertebral

  • Minority Contracting Opportunities

  • More

  • Orbituary

  • Photos

  • Real Estate For Sale

  • Reviews

  • SPORTS

  • Stories

  • Tezozomoc

  • The Public Forum

  • Videos

  • ¡No Se Deje!

  • Advertise Here

/secondary

/sidebar

/#content

  • Ask A Mexican

¡ASK A MEXICAN!

By Gustavo Arellano Dear Mexican: From what I’ve seen and heard, Mexicans are very family-oriented. They take the names of their mother’s and father’s, live with extended family, take carpooling to the nth degree, and tattoo the names of their children across their bodies. We recently had a party and invited one of our Hispanic […]

  • Entertainment

Imparte Curso de Flamenco la Bailaora Lucia Aguilar

Por: Paco Zavala El Centro Estatal de las Artes sede Tijuana, dentro de la programación a impartir nuevos cursos y talleres, está ofreciendo en la actualidad un curso de Flamenco que inició el pasado 20 de mayo y terminará el próximo mes de agosto, impartiéndose dicha enseñanza por la bailaora y Maestra Lucía Aguilar, los […]

  • SPORTS

Barrera Taurina…rumors, half-truths, and anything in between…

By Mark Schwarz 1 for 5: The four Mexican stars that have appeared in Madrid’s month long, masochistic marathon of toros known as the Feria de San Isidro, have 1 ear to show for their collective efforts. Joselito Adame, Octavio Garcia, “El Payo”, Diego Silveti and Arturo Saldivar, were confronted with a nearly monolithic lack […]

  • Food Page/Tid Bits

3 Ways to Personalize Your Party Treats

Fruity Cereal Pinwheel Cookies (Family Features) From “just-because” gatherings to birthday blowouts and major holidays, you’ll have everything you need to personalize your party with these quick party tricks. Decorate with Color Color adds a pop of personality to any party. Kick it up a notch with a customized color palette that matches your unique […]

La Prensa San Diego Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.

.col-full end #background This website uses Linkable Title Html And Php Widget v1.2.6 Wordpress plugin developed by PepLamb (PepLamb.com) Woo Tabs Widget

Loading...

Featured Posts