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Archbishop Bala condemns Hindu leaderís comments on Mother Teresa

9:36 PM, October 11, 2017

India(Andhra Pradesh):Swami Parpoornanda Saraswath said that Mother Teresa undeservedly received the highest national honor, the Bharata Ratna.

Archbishop Thumma Bala of Hyderabad condemned the false accusations and derogatory comments made by Hindu leader Swami Parpoornanda Saraswathi against Mother Teresa in a recent television debate.

A Telugu Channel based in Hyderabad on Sept 22 broadcast a debate between Swami Paripoornananda Saraswathi, Head of Sreepeetham at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, and Dalit rights activist Professor Kancha Illaiah regarding the caste controversy and protests around Illaiah’s new book.

Swamiji diverted the topic calling Professor Illaiah “a foreign agent” and dragged Christianity and Mother Teresa into the debate. He alleged that "Mother Teresa organized the illegal trafficking of 50,000 women, making them work as nuns after converting them to Christianity".

The Archbishop said the comments of Paripoornananda Swamiji were totally uncalled for as “the subject of the discussion was something different. It was not necessary for Swamiji to speak of the Pope and Mother Teresa".

Archbishop Bala, the President of the Catholic Bishops Council of Andhra Pradesh, asked the government to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future.

Condemning the attempts of those "who try to bring division in society", Archbishop Bala called on the State governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana not to remain indifferent to such offensive remarks against a person respected across religions and nations.

The Archbishop noted that Swamiji's comments “not only deeply hurt the hearts and feelings of the Catholic Church and the Christian community, but also of people belonging to all regions and religions who respect Mother Teresa as saint and mother of the poor and the suffering".

During the debate, Swamiji also said that Mother Teresa undeservedly received the highest national honor, the Bharata Ratna, in 1980 by the Government of India.

"Is this not an insult to the nation and to the President of India who recognized the services of the Mother to the poor, the needy, the terminally-ill, the elderly, the abandoned and the suffering," Archbishop Bala asked.

"The work of Saint Mother Teresa is recognized all over the world and in 1979 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Currently there are 5,161 Sisters of Mother Teresa in 758 Homes working in 139 countries,” he added.

Following the footsteps of Jesus Christ, "we can forgive Paripoornananda Swamiji", the Archbishop said, recalling that "the primary duty of every religious leader is to foster harmony and peace in the community of our pluralist nation and safeguard the secularity and religious freedom guaranteed by our Constitution".

Source: Agenzia Fides

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