Pope Francis is coming to Washington, D.C. to canonize Junipero Serra as a Saint. It is imperative he is enlightened to understand that Father Serra was responsible for the deception, exploitation, oppression, enslavement and genocide of thousands of Indigenous Californians, ultimately resulting in the largest ethnic cleansing in North America.
The reality of the California Mission system has yet to be accurately taught in California schools or recognized by the Catholic Church. Elementary school children tour mission grounds and are taught that native people were "docile and child-like savage pagans, saved by the kind and benevolent padres". In reality, the human remains of thousands of indigenous people are scattered beneath the grounds of the Missions that were built by Indian slaves as garrisons for the church and Spanish crown. Indigenous people died of rape, beatings and diseases introduced by the Spanish conquistadors in California. Spanish Priests did little to recognize indigenous people as humans and did not come to their rescue when women were raped by soldiers and settlers. With an over 90% indigenous mortality rate, Serra hardly "saved many souls".