Pope canonizes 18th-century missionary
WASHINGTON - In the first canonization on U.S. soil, Pope Francis has elevated to sainthood an 18th-century missionary who brought Catholicism to the American West Coast.
Francis canonized Junipero Serra on Wednesday during a Mass in Washington.
Serra was a Franciscan friar who marched north from Baja California with Spanish conquistadors, establishing nine of the 21 missions in what is now California.
The canonization was polarizing. Serra is revered by Catholics for his missionary work, and many Latinos in the U.S. view his canonization as a badly needed acknowledgment of Hispanics' role in the American church. But many Native Americans say Serra enslaved converts and contributed to the spread of disease that wiped out indigenous populations.
In July, Francis issued a broad apology for the church's sins against indigenous peoples.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
DOTD starts series of road closures tied to I-10 widening project
Woman was struck by hit-and-run driver, then run over by police officer...
Potential settlement in clemency fight could keep most prisoners on death row
Content warning: Video shows hit and run before woman was run over...
'I don't apologize for my passion': BRPD chief rallies with city-parish leaders...