New York Times, Aug. 18, 2015
In that spirit, it is helpful to read a book like “A Cross of Thorns,” by Elias Castillo, a California journalist who does not hide his disdain for the little priest from Mallorca. His prosecution brief includes testimony taken in 1797 by a Spaniard, Lt. José Argüello, from Indians who had fled the missions and were recaptured.
By Rev. Dr. Mattew Fox,
Tikkun Daily, July 2015
In this book Father Junipero Sera, called by some the “Father of California,” is tarred and feathered for all eternity as the father of a system, the mission system, that systematically destroyed the culture of the indigenous peoples of California that had lived at peace with the earth and more or less at peace with themselves over millennia until the Spanish arrived.
"All we have done to the Indians is consecrate them, baptize them, and bury them"
Father Mariano Payeras, the last Spanish Padre Presidente of the missions,
in an 1820 letter to his superior, expressing concern that outsiders
eventually would ask where all the California coastal Indians had gone.
Some recent audio and video links
Deport Millions of Mexicans?:
Under a policy begun by President Herbert Hoover in 1928, two million Mexican residents of the U.S. - more than half of them either U.S. citizens or in the country legally - were "repatriated" to Mexico to allow their jobs to be filled by "real Americans." Read Castillo's essay in the San Jose Mercury News.
California's Indians Want More Than an Apology
California's missions were death camps for the thousands of native peoples who faced slavery and genocide within their walls. Today Castillo joins descendants of those Indians fighting for recognition of this terrible history and the price it exacts even today.
Spark Discussions in The Media
Busting the Myths of California's Missions Mission Local, San Francisco, Oct. 7, 2016
Who was Junipero Serra and why is Pope Francis Canonizing Him in Washington DC? From The Guardian UK, Sept. 22, 2015
The Pope Should Not Grant Sainthood To a Brutal Missionary by Rose Aguilar, The Guardian, Sept. 22, 2015
How Tarnished is Serra's Halo? by Vinnie Rotondaro, National Catholic Reporter, Sept. 15, 2015
AUDIO Your Call: The Dark History of California's Missions Public Radio Station KALW San Francisco
The Enslavement of California's Indians by the Sanish Missions By Edd Doerr, Americans for Religious Liberty Journal, Sept. 7, 2015
Is America's New Saint More of a Sinner? Monica Campbell, PRI's The World, Sept. 8, 2015
AUDIO Resultados de la Busqueda: Serra: un Santo? in Spanish onRadio Bilingue, Sept. 2, 2015
California's Saint, and a Church's Sins By Lawrence Downes, New York Times, Aug. 18, 2015
AUDIO KPFA broadcast, Visionary Activist Show July 23, 2014
The Emerging Truth about Junipero Serra and the California Missions By Rev. Dr. Mattew Fox, Tikkun Daily, July 2015
"Cross of Thorns" details brutality of California's missions San Francisco Examiner, May 18, 2015
The Vatican’s Rhetorical Strategy: Serra Was a Man of His Time Indian Country Today, April 28, 2015
Elias Castillo's "Cross of Thorns" presents a bleak picture of California history Santa Cruz Sentinel, March 16, 2015
Is going gangsta on natives any way to make a saint? If Pope Francis has his way, maybe. MetroAction, San Jose, CA., Feb. 11, 2015
Letter from Tribal Chairman Valentine Lopez opposing canonization of Serra, sent February, 2015 to the Vatican.
Sainthood for California Missionary Angers Native Americans,London Daily Mail, Feb. 19, 2015 (Agence France Presse story)
A New Book, A Cross of Thorns, Says Junipero Serra was No Saint MetroActive, San Jose, CA., Feb. 11, 2015
Elias Castillo: Junipero Serra Sainthood Belies Cruel History San Jose Mercury News, Jan. 23, 2015
Serra Was No Saint Linking and Thinking on Education by Joanne Jacobs, Jan. 17, 2015
Pope Francis announces sainthood for California Mission founder San Jose Mercury News, Jan. 16, 2015
Junipero Serra: Debunking the Mission Myth Washington Square, Alumni Magazine of San Jose State University, December, 2014
Misery at the Missions by Barney Brantingham Santa Barbara Independent, Nov. 27, 2014
Chicano Journalist’s new book will shatter California’s missions image LaPrensa, SanDiego, CA., Oct. 10, 2014
New book attacks historical image of California's missions,San Jose Mercury News/Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 12, 2014
History Lesson Not Very Accurate,The Acorn, Jan. 30, 2014
The Dark, Terrible Secret of California's Missions, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 8, 2004
“California’s Spanish missions were death camps for Indians,” charges author scheduled to speak at California State Indian Museum in Sacramento Oct. 4
Bureau of Indian Affairs Censors Author at Federal Meeting: California Indians Decry Bureau. "They Need to Know the Truth."
Testimony before a session of the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, July 22, 2014
Journalist and Author Elias Castillo to Speak May 10, 2014 at UC Santa Cruz