Donna Schindler, a psychiatrist specializing in “historical trauma” said she is a lifelong practicing Catholic who has left the church due to the Serra canonization, the result of which will be the “re-wounding” of the descendants of mission Indians, who struggle with depression, domestic violence, substance abuse, and teen suicide rates that are triple the national average.
“It’s incredible to me this is even a debate”, Lopez told the Guardian.
The Pope’s decision to canonize Serra took some by surprise, as the church has validated only one miracle attributed to him after his death: a St Louis nun who claimed she was cured of lupus after praying to him in 1960.
According to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Serra will be the 11th saint with connections to the United States, including those who lived here before the nation’s founding. Serra created nine missions in California and converted Native Americans to Christianity. The Most Notorious Catholic Saints].
“The relic is a piece of his bone”, Lavarone explained. Francis, the world’s highest-profile denouncer of income inequality, would find himself in a city that’s a poster child of haves and have-nots (San Francisco’s income inequality is on a par with Rwanda). He suffered from life-long ailments in his legs, for which he refused to seek treatment. The first was in San Diego in 1769. He says Native Americans were beaten, enslaved and killed by the thousands under Serra.
He would like to see free admission for visitors who are Native American, the creation of a standard presentation on the Indian world before the Spanish occupation, displays on which tribes built the mission, and an acknowledgment of native peoples today. He’s loosened things up a bit at the Vatican, has moved the church towards an openness that his predecessor assiduously avoided, and has tried to affect a lifestyle of a regular guy, that is, if a regular guy could be a pope.
It’s this collusion with colonialism which has led to an outcry against his canonisation. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band has been pleading with the Vatican to drop the canonization plans.
“Undoubtedly what puzzles and hurts us the most is how the Catholic Church has ignored the humanity of our ancestors”, Lopez wrote in the letter. “The fear, the cries of the people as they were being slaughtered or flogged, or the mission bell to remind them to come and work is like a whip to a slave”, said Waiya.
Steven Hackel, history professor at the University of California, Riverside, and author of a 2013 biography of Serra, said he is remarkable because of what he was able to accomplish as the child of poor farmers on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Making visible the records of that sorry history, meeting with Native American leaders, and restoring lands that were taken would be good next steps.
“We do not believe that such a man, nor such a time period, should be celebrated”.
Likewise, it defies understanding that Pope Francis would apologize for past destruction of Native Peoples caused by the Catholic Church, yet leave in place the very documents that justify and make it possible for criminal assaults to continue against Native Peoples today.
Serra, a Spanish missionary in the 18th century, founded a series of missions in what is now California and is credited with the conversion of thousands of natives to Christianity.
Earlier this year, state Sen.
Interviewed by Thomas Rees for the National Catholic Reporter, Senkewicz suggests a more nuanced view.
Historians estimate that 60,000 indigenous Californians had died in the missions by the time the Mexican government sold them to private landowners in the 1830s. One way of doing this was to keep them apart from the ranchers and miners who thronged to the region. Serra was made “blessed” – the stage before sainthood – in 1988 by Pope John Paul II, and could have remained at that stage indefinitely.
Senkewicz warns against identifying Serra with the whole missionary enterprise, for good or ill.
From their establishment in the late 1760s until Mexico declared independence and secularized them in the 1820s, the California missions formed a network of forced-labor camps and, in effect, slaughterhouses, where the once-vibrant native peoples of California were systematically reduced to mere shadows of their former selves: Under the mission system, the overall indigenous population of Southern California declined by almost 1,000 every single year. “And nothing on the scale of Sand Creek or Wounded Knee ever occurred in connection with the California missions”.