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Pope keen to beatify Mother Teresa in Calcutta

Pope John Paul II will sign the decree for the beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta on Friday, but is unlikely to then announce whether the ceremony will take place in Calcutta or Rome.

The beatification ceremony is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2003.

The Pope health notwithstanding, he would like to hold the ceremony in Calcutta, the birthplace of her work for the poor. He visited her home for the dying there, and she is buried there.

But The Universe reports that a definite decision regarding the venue for the beatification "has not yet been taken". Some argue that a Calcutta beatification ceremony would identify Mother Teresa too closely with India.

On the other hand, those in favour of Calcutta maintain that the poor people from India who love Mother Teresa could never afford to go to Rome for the ceremony.

However it may not be so simple for him to go to India, given the present political climate in which the extremist wing of the Hindu movement are hostile to what they perceive as Christian attempts to evangelise the people of India.

The Universe

Mother Teresa's Cause Website
Vatican body recognises Mother Teresa miracle (2/10/02)
Miracle Approved; Beatification Set for Mother Teresa
Vatican confirms Mother Teresa 'miracle' (CNN)
Mother Teresa successor says happy for miracle nod (Reuters)
Vatican moves Mother Teresa nearer to canonisation (25/9/02)
Hundreds pray at Mother Teresa's tomb (27/8/02)
Mother Teresa beatification could occur this year (20/8/02)
Mother Teresa voted India's greatest citizen (14/8/02)
The Mother Teresa Website

17 Dec 2002