Mark! Thanks for these. I grew up in California, loving the missions, especially San Juan Capistrano. There is now a foundation trying to save them. San Miguel is especially at risk, and certain parties are trying to prevent all public funding, even though these are recognized historical landmarks. I refer all interested parties to:http://missionsofcalifornia.org/
Patrick,I am kind of leery of public funding, and even some private funding, because often these funds are given with strings attached.For example, the EU has funded the restoration of the monasteries at Mount Athos in Greece, and is now using that as political leverage. Some say that these all-male monasteries, made up entirely of those of the Orthodox faith, is discriminatory: women and heretics should be allowed there also!The Caifornia Missions were Catholic churches and should remain so, with ownership and control by the Church. The idea that these are part of the secular heritage is destructive of the Catholic religion, and tends to make the Church just another historical relic, with no relevance to modern man.
True in many ways, Marcus. If strings are attached, then public funds should be rejected. Perhaps the Church here in the USA should seek contributions to support places of historical significance.However, in California, these are such a part of the state's history I would support public funding. Fr. Serra even represents California in the U.S. Capitol.http://www.aoc.gov/cc/art/nsh/serra.cfm