As the Pope's visit to the U.S. approaches, Native American activists in California and beyond are working harder than ever to raise awareness and stop the canonization of Junipero Serra. I am sharing the latest letter from Toypurina Carac, originator of the MoveOn petition against the canonization; see the excellent article that she shares below, and if you haven't signed the petition yet, please do. ____________________________________________
As our delivery date draws near, I am sharing a brief article written by a Professor friend in Southern California and Descendant of Mission Natives.
The Great Vatican Fraud by J. Cordero, PhD
The Vatican’s justification for canonizing Junipero Serra rests in great part upon Serra’s accomplishments. In the absence of a second miracle required for sainthood, Pope Francis counted Serra’s life’s work as a sufficient substitute. According to Pope Francis, Serra’s primary achievement was in founding the California missions where he served as a missionary and as Father President. In fact, Pope Francis praised Serra for being the “great evangelizer of the West in the United States.” From the Vatican’s perspective, then, the canonization of Junipero Serra relies heavily upon the assumption that the missionaries in California were, as Zephryn Engelhardt declared, “eminently successful,” especially in achieving their primary objective—the conversion of the California Indians.
In reality, however, Serra and the Spanish missionaries failed to achieve that goal. Based on the Spanish records kept by the missionaries themselves, less than five percent of all baptized California Indians voluntarily converted (i.e., genuinely converted as opposed to simply having been baptized) to Christianity, and the vast majority of converts held a syncretistic faith comprised of both native and Catholic beliefs. On the other hand, nearly eighty percent of all baptized natives died prematurely. In other words, five of every one hundred baptized Indians was genuinely converted, while eighty of every one hundred died an untimely death. The high death rates for Indians did not result primarily from epidemic diseases as is commonly reported. Instead, the austere living and working conditions at the missions contributed to rates of death that grossly exceeded birth rates and that consequently led to the near destruction of native populations in a manner more severe than in Baja California.
Thus, in their evangelistic efforts the Spanish missionaries fared poorly, which means that Pope Francis has merely substituted one failure for another and that the primary basis for Serra’s canonization is fraudulent.
Jonathan Cordero (Ohlone/Chumash) Assistant Professor of Sociology, California Lutheran University Chairperson of the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone
Dr. Cordero will be joining a group of us next month at U.C. Berkeley to discuss the campaign to stop the canonization of Serra. It would be great if we could celebrate victory!
I need to issue an apology and correction from last week: Vinnie Rotondaro writes for the National Catholic Reporter, not the Register. I have linked his amazing article below. Our NPR interview with George Lavender is scheduled to air on Friday, 9/18/15. Our German Radio interview with Kerstin Zilm will also air sometime soon!
Our final delivery date will be this week and we are finalizing our media release. You will be the first to know when and where we are delivering the petition! Please stay connected to www.nostjunipero.com and our Kizh Nation Facebook page for updates. As of now, we are short 120 names on the petition to have reached our goal of 10,000.
We wish to extend a warm "Mahalo" and Aloha to supporters in Hawaii who oppose the canonization of Serra, as it is an insult to Father Damien of Molokai.
We thank you all, for your help in signing and sharing our petition to Pope Francis. This canonization is in direct conflict with his rhetoric, so we hope he will abandon it, before it is too late for this to tarnish his legacy of mercy, compassion and progress.
In solidarity, Toypurina Carac