Newsom Signs Bill to Remove Serra Statue from State Capitol

St. Serra Statue

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Friday to replace a statue of St. Junípero Serra at the State Capitol with a monument to the State’s indigenous peoples.  

Newsom’s signature on Sept. 24 was widely expected after AB 338 was passed with almost unanimous approval by legislators in both of the state’s chambers.

Following the Governor’s signature, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone tweeted ““This new law does not change the facts: Junípero Serra spent his life caring for and defending the indigenous people of California to the point of heroic virtue. Indian and Spaniard alike mourned when he died. We would do well to imitate his virtues. We ignore history to our peril.”

The statue of the Catholic saint, canonized by Pope Francis in 2015, had stood in Sacramento’s Capitol Park since the 1960s. It was toppled by protestors last year in one of several attacks on statues of the Spanish saint across California amid widespread protests over racial injustice in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

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