San Francisco Archbishop on Toppling of Junipero Serra Statue: ‘That Is An Act of The Evil One’

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(CNSNews.com) – Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco led a rosary on June 27 at the location in Golden Gate Park where demonstrators on June 19 had torn down a statue of St. Junipero Serra.

Serra was a Franciscan missionary from Spain, who established the chain of Catholic missions in California in the late 1700s.

“We are here at the site where the statue of Father Serra stood in Golden Gate Park that was blasphemously torn down,” Archbishop Cordileone said. “An act of sacrilege occurred here. That is an act of the Evil One. Evil has made itself present here.”

“So, we came together to pray the rosary and then to offer the prayer of exorcism, the St. Michael prayer,” said the archbishop. “Because evil is present here. This is the activity of the evil one, who wants to bring down the church, who wants to bring down all Christian believers.”

Cordileone asked Catholics to study the history of the missions and know that it is “a wonderful legacy that we should be proud of.”

Here is the full transcript of statement Cordileone made on video about his visit to the site of the Serra statue:

“So, I would ask our people to pray and to fast and, then, to inform themselves. There’s a lot that people don’t know, there’s a lot of ignorance of the real history. So, I would ask our people to learn about the history of Father Serra of the missions of the whole history of the church, so they can appreciate the great legacy the church has given us. Given the world so much truth, beauty and goodness.

“It’s a wonderful legacy that we should be proud of. There are those who want to make us feel ashamed of it. We have every reason to be proud of it.

“We are here at the site where the statue of Father Serra stood in Golden Gate Park that was blasphemously torn down. An act of sacrilege occurred here. That is an act of the Evil One. Evil has made itself present here.

“So, we have gathered together to pray to God and to pray, ask the saints for their intercession, above all Our Blessed Mother, in act of reparation—asking God’s mercy upon us, upon our whole city that we might turn our hearts back to Him.

“We came together to pray the rosary as Our Lady asks us. Our Lady is always asking us to pray the rosary, asking her intercession. The rosary has the power even to change history.

“History has shown that it can change the course of history. We bind together in prayer and fasting and penance, but especially in the prayer of the rosary.

“So, we came together to pray the rosary and then to offer the prayer of exorcism, the St. Michael prayer. Because evil is present here. This is the activity of the evil one, who wants to bring down the church, who wants to bring down all Christian believers.

“So, we offer that prayer and bless this ground with Holy Water so that God might purify it, sanctify it, and that we in turn might be sanctified.

“The presence of so many wonderful faithful here was a real moment of comfort for me. I have been feeling great distress and sort of a deep wound in my soul when I see these horrendous acts of blasphemy and disparaging of the memory of Serra, who was such a great hero, such a great defender of the indigenous people of this land. Someone who was very much a part of my own life growing up, as I did, I grew up very close to the first mission that he founded in San Francisco. So, it inflicted a deep wound in my soul and I’ve been very distressed.  So the presence of so many people here was a great comfort and support to me. I am deeply grateful to them.

“The first and most important thing for Catholics, of course, is to pray. So, I encourage them to continue to pray, to pray the rosary.

“Two years ago, at the request of some of the faithful here in San Francisco, I consecrated the archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and have been calling for living the consecration through daily prayer of the rosary, through weekly adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and through fasting and other acts of penance—but especially Friday fasting. So, I would ask our people to pray and to fast and, then, to inform themselves. There’s a lot that people don’t know, there’s a lot of ignorance of the real history. So, I would ask our people to learn about the history of Father Serra of the missions of the whole history of the church, so they can appreciate the great legacy the church has given us. Given the world so much truth, beauty and goodness.

“It’s a wonderful legacy that we should be proud of. There are those who want to make us feel ashamed of it. We have every reason to be proud of it. But also we have to approach living our Christian life with humility and to continue to give goodness to the world, and to give the world beauty and truth with the help and the grace of God.

“Those of you who are viewing, may Almighty God send his blessing down upon you and may it remain with you forever. The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.”



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