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Counter Narrative: Pope Francis and Junipero Serra

5 Pages 1365 Words December 2019

"We often hear that the times were much different when Friar Junipero Serra first came to California and that we cannot use today's standards to judge his actions . . . The Catholic Church should not use today's standards to judge Friar Junipero Serra. Instead, the Catholic Church should judge Friar Junipero Serra against the times and the words that Jesus Christ spoke when he was on earth;" (Valentin Lopez, "Open Letter to Pope Francis," February 24, 2015, p. 3)
The letter sent by Valentin Lopez to Pope Francis about canonizing Friar Junipero Serra and Pope Francis' Eucharistic celebration at Pontifical North American College are the two most significant examples. While the Catholic Church only focuses on the dominant culture's master narrative, the letter from Valentin Lopez highlights the counter-narrative of indigenous people. The long history of two different communities of color, race, and culture grew out of colonialism, counter-narrative point of view in Valentin Lopez's letter. The letter counters and reframes the master narrative point of view of Pope Francis by highlighting other parts of the story and rejecting misconceptions and half-truths in the master narrative.
On February 24, 2015, Valentin Lopez, Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band of Costanoan/Ohlone Indians in California, wrote a poignant letter to Pope Francis sharing a Native perspective on why Friar Junipero Serra should not be named a Saint. Further, Valentin Lopez purposes that Pope Francis reconsiders canonizing Friar Junipero Serra, and the catholic church should disclose the harsh actions taken against Californian Native Americans and their ancestors during the missions. Valentin Lopez, the Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, wrote two letters dated August 29, 2013, and April 25, 2014, introducing about their tribe and pre-contact history. Also mentioned about the historic trauma due to the starting with the brutalities their ancestors suffered at ...

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