Catholic church needs to continue apology to Indigenous people

Marin Independent Journal

October 25, 2020

By Frank Lindh

As a lifelong Catholic and an active parishioner at Saint Raphael Church in San Rafael, I believe it is fundamentally wrong for the civil authorities – or the church authorities – to characterize the pulling down of a Father Junipero Serra statue as a “hate crime” during an otherwise peaceful demonstration on Indigenous Peoples Day.

I am disappointed to read that’s exactly what San Rafael Police Department officials are aiming to do.

In 2006, then-retired Roman Catholic Bishop Frank Quinn celebrated Mass at St. Raphael’s in order to commemorate the founding of Mission San Rafael. During his homily, he offered an apology for the mistreatment of the Miwok people by the Franciscan friars.

Later, Quinn recalled the event. “I’ve studied the Miwoks and I regret that they were treated unfairly,” he told the Catholic News Service in an interview quoted online. “They didn’t expect an apology, so some of the Indians even wept. I looked upon it as a time of reconciliation.”

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