Los Angeles cleans up Catholic Saint Junipero Serra from the park where the statue was demolished by activists

Los Angeles wipes the name of Junipero Serra, a Catholic saint and missionary, from a park in downtown Los Angeles, more than a year after activists vandalized 19th-century statues of the priest.

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that La Plaza Park, known as Père Serra Park, would be renamed and that an “indigenous cultural easement” would be created “to give local indigenous communities priority access to the park for the practice of traditional ceremonies ”.


“Los Angeles is a home city that takes responsibility for the mistakes we have made in the past,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Our Indigenous brothers and sisters deserve justice and today we are taking a step towards greater cultural sensitivity and spaces for Angelenos to come together and perform their traditional ceremonies.”

The press release says the city will remove the name of Saint Junipero Serra from part of the park and will be called La Plaza Park until a new name is adopted.

Garcetti convened a task force on “civic memory” in 2019 to make recommendations on how the liberal city could “engage” with its past. But while the group worked, left-wing activists took matters into their own hands and snatch the statue of Serra in 2020. Another statue of Serra in Sacramento has also been vandalized.

Serra, who lived from 1713 to 1784 and was canonized by Pope Francis in 2015, is considered the father of the California missionary effort.

Serra is touted as bringing Christianity to West America and aiding the conversion of many Native Americans. Canonizing Serra at a mass in Washington DC in 2015, Pope Francis implicitly rejected allegations that Serra was involved in the mistreatment of Native Americans.


“He learned to bring forth and nourish the life of God in the faces of all whom he met; he made them his brothers and sisters, ”he declared. “Junípero sought to defend the dignity of the indigenous community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it.”

Governor of California Gavin Newsom signed an invoice last month which makes it possible to replace the statue of Serra in another park of the blue state with a monument honoring the Amerindian tribes.

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