One less space for St. Junipero Serra

City of San Francisco’s art commission unanimously voted to remove the statue on March 5 because it depicts the "degradation and genocide of Native American peoples"

“Early Days” sculpture near Civic Center, San Francisco (image from sfcitizen.com)

California missionary St. Junipero Serra will be among the figures removed from a prominent location near San Francisco City Hall after the city’s art commission unanimously voted to remove the statue March 5.

The bronze statue, titled “Early Days,” shows three figures: a Native American sitting at the feet of English seafarer Francis Drake and of Serra, the eighteenth-century Spanish missionary who founded the missions at the center of many Californian cities.

St. Junipero’s statue is shown bending down, looking at the Native American with his palm facing downward. The statue’s other arm is stretched skyward, with a finger pointing to the heavens.

The statue is part of a larger bronze and granite Pioneer Monument.

According to the San Francisco Examiner, an arts commission memo said people had called for the statue to be removed because “the allegorical sculpture’s depiction of the degradation and genocide of Native American peoples, utilizing visual stereotypes common at the turn of the twentieth century to depict all Native Americans which are now universally viewed as disrespectful, misleading, and racist.”

Pope Francis canonized the friar in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 23, 2015.

“Junípero sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it,” the Pope said in his homily at the Mass of canonization. “Mistreatment and wrongs which today still trouble us, especially because of the hurt which they cause in the lives of many people.”

The San Francisco statue was completed in 1894 by the American sculptor Frank H. Happersberger. The costs to remove it could run from $160,000 to $200,000. It will be placed in storage.

Full story at Catholic News Agency.

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Comments

  1. Faithful and True says:

    And what will happen to this historic piece of art? Will the city put a parking by lot there?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nothing good comes from San Francisco. Are you all aware that human poop on the sidewalk is a problem in that city? There are phone apps that show where people have spotted poop on the sidewalk so that people walking the streets will know where to be careful. Hypodermic needles on the streets are a problem too. Nothing good comes from San Francisco.

  3. There’s just no end to disgraceful behavior San Francisco. How about giving the statue to one of our churches that would place it in a location visible to the passing public?

  4. Joel Fago says:

    St. Junipero’s statue points to heaven; the San Francisco’s art commission action points to hell.

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem isn’t St. Junipero; the problem is the native American in the statue.

      • Anonymous says:

        Get over it. Nothing’s wrong with the statue at all. This is PC run amok, and since the Church is a target, PC police are even more gleeful in trying to do their dirty deeds.

  5. San Francisco is the most corrupt city in the USA

    • Fr. John Higgins says:

      They’d rather have drugs and needles on their streets, naked men in public and the stink of human waste than anything good and wholesome.

  6. The statue is 120 years old. I think ‘correct’ attitudes were different then. Still, I think the sculptor could have created a more timeless figure, perhaps with the Native American standing.

  7. helen wheels says:

    the most politically incorrect outrage
    is that the City itself is named
    after Saint Francis.
    Hereafter let that bastion of sodomy
    by the Bay be known as
    Sam Frank’s Disco.

  8. John Patrick says:

    St. Junipero Serra is still out there in history whether or not a few atheists agree or not. Reminds me of burning of books by Nazis symbolically destroying that which came before or communists seeking to blot out historical persons and events. It appears the same kind of totalitarians are ascendant in San Francisco.

  9. Steve Seitz says:

    Some group was trying to get rid of the statue of Padre Sera in the park behind the state Capitol building. In response, a group started to pray the rosary next to the statue. So far, the statue is still there.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Of all the depictions in San Francisco of “one man bending over another”, this this the most “degrading” ???

  11. Roberta Siena says:

    Ha ha ha! You got that right. If the statue showed nudity, well, that would be praised. Did you know that EVERY Easter Sunday there is a mockery of our religion, Jesus, and Mary in San Francisco?

    “Facebook post: The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, your fabulous Order of Queer Nuns, will host our annual 39th Anniversary celebration on Easter Sunday, April 1st, 2018 at Golden Gate Park’s Hellman Hollow area. This year’s theme is “Sacred Jesters and Wise Fools”, since Easter 2018 falls on April’s Fools Day! Join the Sisters for a family-friendly Children’s Easter starting at 10:00 a.m., which includes an egg hunt, games and face painting for the little ones. Starting at 12:00 noon, … everyone’s favorite Easter traditions in San…

  12. Roberta Siena says:

    …continued …Francisco. This year is a HUNKY JESUS and FOXY MARY pageant.”

    Catholics! This filthy mockery is intolerable!

  13. Cultural Marxism ratchets though our society. St. Junipero Serra and the Missions were great for the natives who were catechised and taught agriculture.

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