Category: Serra Canonization

California Indians Demand Cruelty to Ancestors Be Disclosed as California Mission Foundation Tries to Declare El Camino Real a UNESCO World Heritage Site

A proposal by the California Mission Foundation to have the state’s famed El Camino Real route declared a UNESCO Heritage Site is being bitterly opposed by state Indians who said it would only “honor and glorify the brutal conquest” of Indian lands. “Our tribe and many other California Tribes impacted by the California Mission system  Read more…


AlJazeera Television Report on the Canonization of Junipero Serra

Some argue that California’s native peoples voluntarily joined the Spanish Missions founded by Junipero Serra in the 18th Century. “Not true,” Valentin Lopez of the Amah Mutsun told AlJazeera Television. “That’s why they had soldiers with them, to capture the Indians.”


“We are Stunned” Lopez Tells CNN

“We are stunned and we are in disbelief,” Valentin Lopez told CNN after the canonization of Junipero Serra in Sept. 23, 2015 in Washington, DC.


Native Americans Make Last Ditch Plea to Stop Serra Canonization

Native American activists and advocates met Tuesday, Sept. 22, in Washington, D.C., for one last-ditch effort to draw attention to their objection over the canonization of 18th-century Franciscan friar Junípero Serra. Read details in the National Catholic Reporter


Letter to Pope Francis, Sept. 2015

In a letter to Pope Francis outlining the reasons the Amah Mutson people oppose the canonization of Junipero Serra, Tribal ChairmanValentin Lopez says “Undoubtedly what puzzles and hurts us most is how the Catholic Church has ignored the humanity of our ancestors.” Read: Letter to the Pope Sept 2015


Call In: Valentin Lopez in a Discussion of Serra’s Canonization

Public Radio Station KALW featured Aman Mutsun Tribal Chairman Valentin Lopez in a discussion of the issues surrounding Junipero Serra during the program Call In on Sept. 14, 2015.  Listen at


How Tarnished is Serra’s Halo?

A report written by Vinnie Rotondaro in the National Catholic Reporter explores the controversy surrounding Junipero Serra


Writings of Junipero Serra 1773

Serra Gate: A Fabrication of a Saint  By Christine Grabowski, Ph.D.  There is a scurrilous fabrication being disseminated by the Catholic Church regarding Junípero Serra, the missionary whom Pope Francis intends to canonize on September 23, 2015.The attached file is the English translation from a book published by Antonine Tibesar, “Writings of Junipero Serra,” Vol. 1, Published  Read more…


Tribal Chairmen’s Assn. Letter Opposing Serra Canonization

The Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association, in an August 2015 letter to Pope Francis, opposes the canonization of the Franciscan Friar Junipero Serra. Fr. Serra was responsible for founding and building, by means of the forced labor of our Native ancestors, nine of the twenty-one Spanish Catholic missions that were eventually built on the traditional  Read more…


Is America’s New Saint More of a Sinner?

The Amah Mutsun opposition to canonizing Junipero Serra is part of story reported by Public Radio International, a nonprofit orgaization whose content attracts nearly 19 million people around the world each month. “We’ve asked The Pope to work with our tribal members to begin a healing process. And we have not heard back from him,” Valentin Lopez, chairman  Read more…


Association of Tribal Governments Letter Opposing Serra Sainthood

The California Association of Tribal Governments has written a letter to Richard Garcia, Bishop of the Diocese of Monterey, Ca., “with our hope and prayers that someone with influence within the Catholic Church may advise his Holiness Pope Francis to reevaluate his decision to canonize Friar Junipero Serra,” and asking for a meeting to reevaluate  Read more…


Letter to Pope Francis Re: The Doctrine of Christian Discovery

New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends has ssent a letter to Pope Francis asking him to repudiate and rescind the Doctrine of Christian Discovery promulgated by predecessor popes. In addition to achieving its stated goal, the letter supports the Amah Mutsun effort to call attention to the inhuman way that the  Read more…


Letter to Gov. Jerry Brown August, 2015

August 31, 2015   Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. c/o State Capitol. Suite 1173 Sacramento, CA 95814   Re: Open Letter Regarding the Canonization and symbolism of Junipero Serra YOU MAY SIGN A PETITION ON THIS REQUEST TO GOV, JERRY BROWN AT CHANGE.ORG   Dear Governor Brown, My name is Valentin Lopez and  Read more…


Tribal Psychiatrist Says Serra Canonization Will Deepen ‘Soul Wound’

“For the most part, California Indians have never healed from the treatment their ancestors endured in the missions, and making Junipero Serra a saint is going to make it even harder for healing to occur,” psychologist Donna Schindler told former Franciscan friar Mark Day.  In an article published in La Prensa San Diego Day explores  Read more…


Petition California Gov. Jerry Brown to Oppose Canonizing Junipero Serra

Please go to to sign our petition urging California Gov. Jerry Brown to acknowledge the dark history of Serra’s missions and oppose the canonization of Junipero Serra. The petition also urges Brown to encourage the Legislature to take meaningful action to include accurate accounts of what Indians endured at the missions in school curriculae and state  Read more…


California’s Saint, and a Church’s Sins

An opinion piece by New York Times writer Lawrence Downes describes opposition to the canonization of Junipero Serra. The piece quotes Valentin Lopez, chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band: “How can Pope Francis and the Catholic Church speak or act with moral authority when they know that they have mistreated the indigenous people?” and the  Read more…


Far from Human and Scarcely Civilized

Letters written by California Mission founder Junipero Serra and one of his successors, Fermín Francisco de Lasuén, help create context for the attitude of leaders of the missions toward Indians. Told by church officials to allow Indians to “change their location” and “journey from place to place,” Lasuén protests that this would never work for  Read more…


Letter fro Steven Newcomb to Gov. Jerry Brown

Steven Newcomb, author and co-foundeer of the Indigenous Law Institute, challenges California Gov. Jerry Brown to oppose canonization of Junipero Serra. Earlier the governor called Serra “one of the innovators and pioneers of California” in a letter July, 2015. Letter from Steven Newcomb to Gov. Brown


Pope Overlooks Cultural Genocide in Canonizing Junipero Serra

Critics say that Pope 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. After the announcement that Junipero Serra, founder of California’s missions, would be canonized in September, 2015, Vatican officials argued that Serra  Read more…


Sainthood for Founder of California Missions Angers Native American Groups

Members of several Native American groups gathered on Easter Sunday at the historic Carmel Mission to protest the proposed canonization of Franciscan priest Junipero Serra, who is buried there. The gathering sought to honor their ancestors who were also buried at the mission nearly 250 years ago after being stripped of their kinship ties, culture  Read more…


Letter from Mary Valdemar Opposing Serra Sainthood

“Although I believe that much good work is done within the church, today I am here as one of many Catholics who oppose the canonization of Serra,” Mary Valdmar, co founder of Chicano Indigenous Community for Culturally Conscious Advocacy and Action (ChICCCAA) told a Santa Barbara gathering in May, 2015.

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