I’m all for giving old time Catholic priests a little sainthood now and again, but does it have to be for a guy who prescribes whippings and offers up his own shackles? Having grown up in California, I was taught that Father Junipero Serra was a kind fellow who just wanted to convert some natives, raise some cows and get a foothold in the state for Spain.
The more you look into now-Saint Serra, the more stomach-turning he becomes. (Believe me, I preferred the Serra I used to imagine.) Corporal punishment is one thing, but prescribing whippings and offering to provide shackles to help punish the Native Americans who tried to escape from your mission, seems to be a little much for a “saint.” I know saints aren’t supposed to be perfect, but aren’t they at least supposed to be not cruel and inhumane?
Many people use the “man-of-the-times” argument. “Hey, it was the 1700s, what did you expect?” That argument quickly falls apart when you read historical accounts of other priests remarking at the cruelty of the mission system. Enjoy the cartoon, and be sure to dig into some of the links behind the cartoon.