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Another statue of St. Junípero Serra is coming down in California, after weeks of dueling protests at the statue, both praising and denouncing the famed missionary's legacy.
In a virtual meeting, Ventura City Council voted 6–0 to remove the statue, giving the appearance that only one side was heard, despite presenting the case as balanced.
City Council member: "We want to protect the statue. We serve those who want the statue to remain intact, but we also must protect those voices who've been silenced."
That same day, Pope Francis declared Ventura's own Mission San Buenaventura, a church founded by Serra in 1782, a basilica.
Other statues were torn down recently in San Francisco, L.A. and Sacramento, and another one at the University of San Diego is hidden away in storage.
L.A.'s bishop José Gomez has remained passive, writing in a July 1 letter, "We will probably have to relocate some statues to our beloved saint or risk their desecration."
But not everyone is being passive, more Catholics are rising up, with the national coordinator of Church Militant's Resistance movement saying Friday, "If our Catholic tradition is ever threatened, it is our moral duty to defend Her," calling on members to stand at the statue to protest its removal.
Critics worry the archbishop's plan to hide statues capitulates to the demands of the mob and that the only way to defend the statues is to physically stand guard over Catholic history.