Bishop Robert Barron of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has defended the legacy of a Catholic saint whose statue was toppled earlier this year by social justice demonstrators and refuted the argument that evangelism is a form of “cultural aggression.”
Barron delivered a homily last weekend on Aug. 22 outside the Mission Santa Ines in Solvang, California, where a statue of St. Junipero Serra is located.
Serra was a native of Spain who worked to bring Catholicism to the native peoples of present-day California and Mexico
Barron’s homily came as other statues of the 18th-century Franciscan missionary located in the state have become targets of vandalism and destruction.
“The Church understands the very legitimate concerns of some of the protesters,” he said. “Yes, we are concerned about racism … oppression …(and) righting social wrongs.”
Serra was canonized by Pope Francis during his visit to the United States in 2015.
Critics argue that the Spanish missionary epitomized the horrors of colonialism and the mistreatment of Native Americans. During his homily, Barron attempted to assuage the concerns of anti-Serra protesters in the crowd.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Ryan Foley