Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) and Assemblyman Bill Brough (R-Dana Point), whose districts include Mission San Juan Capistrano that Father Junipero Serra founded, today issued the following statement after the State Assembly delayed consideration of Senate Joint Resolution 4 (Lara) that would remove Serra’s statue from the U.S. Capitol and replace it with a statue of Sally Ride:
“We asked our legislative colleagues to delay the Assembly debate on Senate Joint Resolution 4 in deference to Pope Francis’ September visit to the U.S. to canonize Father Serra, and we commend them for doing the right thing. Debating such a bill just before the Pope’s visit would have conveyed a terrible message to him and millions of Catholics around the world, contradicting California’s reputation as a tolerant and welcoming place for all people.
“Given that Senate Joint Resolution 4 has only been delayed, we still remain opposed to it because California’s early history can’t be told without Father Serra. It’s important that his statue remain in Washington, D.C. to promote a respectful dialogue of reflection and reconciliation. We also believe Sally Ride is deserving of high honor given her historic achievements and will support efforts to find ways to honor her properly without displacing Father Serra.”