Sainthood for Serra?

(FOX 11) There is a new round of outrage in California concerning sainthood for Junipero Serra. It was touched off earlier this month when Pope Francis announced that when he visits the United States in September, the Franciscan missionary will be canonized. In 1988, Pope John Paul II was criticized for the beatification of Serra.

Serra first visited the area that would become Los Angeles in 1769 while he was scouting sites for the missions that would be built in California. Later, Serra took charge of the first nine of the 21 missions built in California.

Many Native American accuse Serra of destroying the culture of nearly every tribe he encountered. He is often characterized as a genocidal slave master who punished any tribe that tried to preserve its culture instead of converting to Christianity.

Today's guests are Tim Miguel, a member of the Gabrieleño Band of Mission Indians Kizh Nation and Steven Hackel, PhD. from the History Department at the University of California Riverside. Professor Hackel is an expert on the Native American tribes of Southern California and the author of a new biography on Junipero Serra.

Also included in today's program are excerpts from a column about Serra written recently by Los Angeles Archbishop José Gómez for the online edition of The Tidings. The column is available in its entirety HERE: America's next saint, St. Junípero Serra

Also, check out the book, Junipero Serra: California's Founding Father HERE.

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