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Archbishop performs Bay Area exorcism to cleanse protest site

This 1985 stamp honors Junipero Serra.
This 1985 stamp honors Junipero Serra.(National Postal Museum)
Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 2:50 PM PDT
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SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) - The archbishop of San Francisco performed a short exorcism ceremony Saturday outside a church where protesters had earlier toppled a statue of Father Junipero Serra.

He said the ceremony was intended to drive out evil and defend the image of Serra. The San Francisco Chronicle reports Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone performed the ritual before some 150 supporters before holding a special Mass inside St. Raphael Catholic Church.

Serra was an 18th-century Spanish missionary priest and the father of the California mission system. He was proclaimed a saint in 2015. Critics say Serra forced Native Americans to abandon their culture or face brutal punishment.

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