Statue of Pope’s New Saint Vandalized

A statue of Father Junípero Serra at the Carmel Mission in Northern California was vandalized just days after Pope Francis canonized the Spanish missionary. Vandals reportedly defaced the statue Saturday, damaging other gravesites and splashing paint throughout the cemetery and basilica, according to Carmel Police Sgt. Luke Powell. The statue of Serra, whose remains are also buried at the site, was toppled while the words “Saint of Genocide” were scrawled on a headstone. Pope Francis raised the 18th-century Spanish friar to sainthood in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, drawing protests from many who criticized Serra’s harsh treatment of Native Americans.