Today, the Marin County District Attorney’s office announced that they have reduced the charges against the vandals who desecrated and destroyed the statue of St. Junipero Serra on the property of St. Raphael parish from a felony to a misdemeanor.
This comes after the Archdiocese of San Francisco and Archbishop Cordileone have been left out of restorative justice conversations with the perpetrators.
On May 24, 2023, Archbishop Cordileone wrote a letter to the Marin County District Attorney and Deputy District Attorney objecting to the pending decision, raising questions about failure to include the Archdiocese in discussions, and the potential consequences of perpetuating discrimination and violence against the Catholic Church.
Responding to the action today, Archbishop Cordileone said,
“It is clear to me that this course of action would not have been taken with anyone else. In fact, if the same kind of offense had been committed against another religious congregation or group, it would almost certainly have been prosecuted as a hate crime. There have been more than 100 attacks on Catholic Church property across the nation, including in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, one of which was someone firing a bullet into our Cathedral. Anti-Catholicism has a long and ugly history in this country. Now, with this decision, the Marin County District Attorney has given the signal that attacks on Catholic houses of worship and sacred objects may continue without serious legal consequence.”
The Serra statue on the property of St. Rafael parish was destroyed by vandals in October of 2020. Read more about the incident here.
Original story from Archdiocese of San Francisco.