California missionary on the cusp of sainthood revered and reviled
September 2, 2015
Junipero Serra was the architect of California’s mission system, but how devastating was his impact on Native Americans?
The tale of Junipero Serra is taught in every California classroom as the first step in the Golden State's history. The California founding father is due to be canonized as the first Hispanic-American saint during Pope Francis' visit to the US this month, but some people say the papal blessing will sanction a shameful time in the history of California and the Church, when Native Americans suffered beatings, rape and the organized destruction of their culture. In this excerpt from America Tonight, Michael Okwu reports on the controversy over Serra’s impending sainthood.