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Letter to the Editor: Response to Junipero Serra dorm renaming

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Dear Editor:

The most significant observation in Sarah Wishingrad’s March 4 article about efforts to expunge Junípero Serra’s name from various campus sites was made by people on both sides of the controversy: that there is insufficient knowledge or education about Father Serra on the Stanford campus. Anyone who examines the serious scholarship on this man will learn that he was in fact an advocate for and protector of the Native Americans of his time, against the violent abuses directed toward them by the Spanish colonizers. Those who contend, as Stanford Review editor-in-chief Harry Elliot notes, that “even outside of the context of his time, he was ultimately a beneficial figure,” are exactly right. In anticipation of St. Junípero’s canonization by Pope Francis last September, Catholic League President Dr. William Donohue thoroughly researched that scholarship and compiled his findings into a booklet, “The Noble Legacy of Father Serra.” It can be accessed at the Catholic League website, www.catholicleague.org.

Rick Hinshaw

Director of Communications

Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

New York, NY