Denver Newsroom, Oct 13, 2020 / 03:54 pm (CNA).- A group of activists near San Francisco on Monday defaced a statue of St. Junipero Serra on private property with red spray paint before tearing it from its foundation.

Serra, an 18th-century Franciscan priest and missionary, is viewed by some activists as a symbol of colonialism and of the abuses that many Native Americans suffered after contact with Europeans. However, historians say the missionary protested abuses and sought to fight colonial oppression.

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone on Tuesday decried the “mob rule” that led to the statue of the saint being “mindlessly defaced and toppled by a small, violent mob.”

Praise the Lord

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