Shock after Junipero Serra statue vandalized days after sainthood declared

Vandals targeted headstones of people of European descent
Vandals splashed paint on statues at Carmel Mission and scrawled "Saint of Genocide" on a headstone. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime, authorities say. (Jay Dunn / The Californian)

Vandals splashed paint on statues at Carmel Mission and scrawled “Saint of Genocide” on a headstone. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime, authorities say. (Jay Dunn / The Californian)

The following comes from a September 28 LA Times article by Kate Linthicum:

Days after Pope Francis elevated Father Junipero Serra to sainthood, vandals struck the Carmel Mission where the remains of the controversial missionary are buried, toppling statues and damaging gravesites.

The vandals, who police say acted sometime Saturday night or early Sunday morning, splashed paint throughout the cemetery and basilica and scrawled “Saint of Genocide” on a headstone.

Carmel police Sgt. Luke Powell said the incident was being investigated as a hate crime because the vandals targeted “specifically the headstones of people of European descent, and not Native American descent.”

Despite protests, Pope Francis canonized Serra on Wednesday in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., saying the friar “sought to defend the dignity of the native community,” and suggesting his legacy has been misinterpreted.

The Carmel Mission had planned an event Sunday celebrating Serra’s sainthood. Instead, staff and volunteers spent the morning picking up statues and scrubbing off graffiti.

“Pray that the people [who] did this take responsibility for their actions on this sacred property and that they seek reconciliation,” a mission representative wrote on Facebook. “Let us remember that we live in a loving community and let us not be discouraged by such things. As St. Serra said, “Always look forward, never back.”

Powell said investigators were reviewing surveillance video to try to identify the vandal or vandals. There were several security guards stationed overnight at the mission, he said, but the vandalism went undetected until 7 a.m. Sunday.

To add a comment, click on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ icons OR go further down to the bottom of comments to the Post your comment box.

Comments

  1. WHO DIDN’T SEE THIS COMING?

  2. We all new this was coming to bad the Mission did not have 24hr security, Yes, so the Spanish Conquistadores should have let the Aztecs to continue cutting the hearts out of fellow “Indians” and dumping the bodies down the steps of the Aztec pyramids??? Not that the Mission Indians did this they did not, but the point being made is clear. Christ or pagan gods!!

  3. This is a small price to pay compared to the Catholics in Syria and other countries whose churches are blown up, whose lives are threatened, and whose homes are made so dangerous they must flee on lifeboats to Europe.
    God, and God’s Church, can survive vandalism, as we have done for 2,000 years.
    If we are outraged by the damage to statues, less us let that outrage inspire us to help the Christian refugees fleeing the forces of ISIS by using our money, our influence, our prayer, and our parishes to help them, as Pope Francis also told the Europeans they should do!!

    • Anonymous:
      You are of course correct – provided this stops with statues. Active persecutions have begun with less.

    • So Anon excusing the Left once again….most of the refugees in Europe are Muslim and have no business being there. If Europe actually cared about its civilization it would take ONLY CHRISTIANS …Islam is a threat…never forget that

      • Canisius, you are an odd duck.
        When Jesus told his followers to help the poor, he never said, “only if they belong to your group.”
        When he commanded us to visit those in prison, he never said, “but only if they are truly innocent, and belong to my Church.”
        We don’t help others because THEY are Catholics, but because WE are Catholics, and called to follow the Lord Jesus – not our own biases.

        • Anonymous, charity begins at home with ones own people, then we share with others. St. Paul said in the New Testament that a man who does not take care of his own is worse than an unbeliever. Yes, we need to help those Christians who are being persecuted, quite often by Sharia Law in countries where the Christians were native since Christianity began. Some Christian workers are whipped in some Muslim countries if they are caught even saying the Rosary I been told by some. We need to know who is crossing our borders.

          Look up Sharia Law, or go to the public library and get a good copy of the Koran and read it for yourself. In fact you probably can find it on line, right along with the hadiths (interpretations of the Koran). In some of…

  4. Maryanne Leonard says:

    This great man, finally acknowledged as a saint, brought so much good to the natives of our great land. Imagine the world without him! I thank God for Saint Junipero Serra and know that some people are taught to hate him and all white men, and some hearts are filled with hatred that is undeserved. Padre Junipero Serra is in the hands of God now, and nothing that people on earth can do will change his admirable life of sacrifice, duty, service to God and humanity, and his status as an important part of history. Let us pray for the soul(s) of the person or persons who did this, and let us immediately repair the damage.

  5. John Patrick says:

    ISIS like group, with same philosophy, has arrived in Carmel to destroy any remnant of past history.

  6. I’ve prayed through Father Serra for years. May he change the hearts of these vandals!

COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.