The suspects are accused of toppling a statue of St. Junípero Serra, an 18th-century Catholic missionary criticized by Indigenous activists.
Native American groups have long argued that Junipero Serra — an 18th-century California missionary — was a white supremacist and a colonizer.
As a Catholic who observed closely the resignation of the emeritus pope and elevation of Jorge Bergoglio, in March of 2013, with hope and some suspicion, I find myself vexed by the profuse adulation Pope Francis I received during his visit to the United States.
Pope Francis made the controversial Spanish missionary Junipero Serra a saint just last Wednesday.
Pope Francis, you are likely a wonderful person but you apparently have little sense of justice when it comes to the marginalized and still disenfranchised Indigenous peoples of America.
In canonizing Father Junipero Serra in Washington, D.C. on September 23, Pope Francis signaled that the Vatican believes the founder of the California mission system did his best for Native Americans. Serra's defenders say it is unfair to judge the 18th century Franciscan missionary by contemporary standards.
Pope Francis Canonizes Junipero Serra, Controversial Franciscan Missionary, As The Newest Catholic Saint
The controversial Franciscan missionary is the first saint canonized on American soil.