The article says, "Santa Barbara Regional Bishop Thomas Curry presided at the ecumenical service[,] which included civic leaders, pastors from other religions and spiritual leaders of the Chumash Indian nation."
The photo with the Tidings story about the rededication of this Catholic mission, online at least, is not of the newly restored interior of the church, as anyone would rightly expect, nor of Bishop Curry or any other Catholic priests, which would also be fitting.
No, the Tidings photo for covering the rededication of the Mission is of an evident lay lady who is not identified but who conceivably might be what The Tidings would consider "a Chumash spiritual leader."
Now, as we know, back in the Mission period most Chumash embraced Christ and His Church -- and today, nine and 10 generations later, many of them remain gratefully Catholic.
So who really deserves to be called a "spiritual leader of the Chumash nation?" I say, Pope Benedict XVI; he leads all us Catholics.
To call anyone else who is not ordained or a consecrated religious "a spiritual leader" of a historically and present-day largely Catholic group is to usurp the rightful place of the Pope and the Church and to replace them with people who might well be devotees of a current trendy mix of paganism, New Age and sometimes anti-Catholicism.
Dear Tidings, in such stories from now on please acknowledge the Pope and the Church as the real spiritual leaders of all of us. We L.A. Catholics will really appreciate it.