Archbishop of San Francisco Performs Exorcism at Site Where Protesters Tore Down Statue of St. Junipero Serra

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, head of the archdiocese of San Francisco, stands at the site where Father Junipero Serra’s statue once stood in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. | YouTube

The Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco performed a brief ceremony over the weekend that included an exorcism at a site where protesters tore down a statue of St. Junipero Serra.

According to The Associated Press, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone performed the rite Saturday in front of a crowd of approximately 150 people before going on to hold a Mass at St. Raphael Catholic Church and marching to a nearby Planned Parenthood clinic to pray.

Serra was an 18th-century Spanish missionary priest and the father of the California mission system. In 2015, he was proclaimed a saint.

The toppling of the Serra statue in San Rafael was among many depictions of the priest to be vandalized this year in the Golden State.

A famous statue of Serra in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco was toppled in June amid nationwide protests and riots that followed the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Cordileone called that incident a “work of Satan.” Other symbols of American history, including statues of American founding fathers and other historical figures, particularly those who could in some way be tied to slavery or white supremacy, were torn down or vandalized in cities across the country.

Regarding the most recent toppling, San Rafael police said that five people have been arrested on vandalism charges for knocking over the Serra statue, leaving only the feet attached to the base. The Serra statue is reportedly undergoing repairs and will be returned.

“During this incident and the subsequent destruction of the statue, it was considered that the statue could be replaced or repaired and that the importance of using sound judgment and de-escalation techniques was paramount to preventing physical interactions between officers and protestors,” local authorities said.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter