Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles prays Rosary in front of protesters calling for demolition of St Junipero statue

Last Saturday, Bishop Robert Barron went to the mission of Santa Ynez, inhabited by Franciscans when protesters showed up…

Newsdesk (August 25, 2020 8:23 pm Gaudium Press) Last Saturday, Mgr. Robert Barron, auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, went to the Santa Ynez mission, run by the Franciscans. While there, a group of protesters turned out demanding that the statue of San Junípero Serra, be demolished. The statue St. Junipero, founder of the missions in California is located at the conventual Church.

Praying and singing religious songs

Bishop Barron and his fellow Franciscans had no doubts: they took out their rosaries, stood in front of the protesters, and began praying Hail Maries and singing religious songs.

“It was an adequate response. I don’t think the Church has to just turn around when people want to remove the statues of our saints from our properties,” Bishop Barron said later. “When the protesters arrived after Mass, a group of brothers, including many novices, stood here: we prayed the rosary and sang while the demonstration was taking place,” he explained.

 “We don’t like the way Junípero Serra has been characterized” Bishop Barron remarked. Finally, it all ended peacefully and the brothers had a good day”.

“The historical truth is that Serra repeatedly pressed the Spanish authorities for better treatment of the Native American communities,” the California Catholic bishops have recently pointed out. “In working with Native Americans, -they continue-,  he was a man ahead of his times who made great sacrifices to defend and serve the indigenous population and work against an oppression that extends far beyond the mission era.”

Defender of the dignity of the native community

Father Junípero Serra is “one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, He was the embodiment of ”a Church which goes forth’, a Church which sets out to bring everywhere the reconciling tenderness of God. Junípero Serra left his native land and its way of life. He was excited about blazing trails, going forth to meet many people, learning and valuing their particular customs and ways of life. He learned how to bring to birth and nurture God’s life in the faces of everyone he met; he made them his brothers and sisters’,” declared Pope Francis during his canonization in 2015.

And he added: “Junípero sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it. Mistreatment and wrongs which today still trouble us, especially because of the hurt which they cause in the lives of many people ”.

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