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Vatican decides against Mother Teresa exhumation

Deviating from tradition, the Vatican has decided to do away with the process of exhumation of the body of Mother Teresa which it normally goes through with candidates for beatification and subsequent sainthood.

"Usually, exhumation of the body is done before the ceremony of beatification which is a step to subsequent sainthood. But in Mother's case, this is not being done," Church sources told the Indian news agency PTI.

According to Indian Canon Law expert, Fr A.C. Jose, exhumation of the body is done to establish the identity of the candidate and also to ascertain the condition of the candidates mortal remains.

"If there is no evidence of corruption of the body, as recorded in a number of cases, then it certainly adds to the cause of the candidates sainthood," he said.

While pointing out that exhumation of the body can be done even after the candidate had been conferred sainthood, the sources, however, said that this will not be done in the case of Mother Teresa.

Pope John Paul-II has already deviated from the Church tradition of the customary five-year wait for the Diocesan Inquiry into the life and virtue of Mother, putting the Nobel laureate nun, who died in 1997, into the fast track to sainthood.

More than 450 Missionaries of Charity nuns from all corners of the world are expected join hundreds of thousands of pilgrims at the ceremony in St Peter's Square at the weekend, according to Sr Nirmala, Mother Teresa's successor as leader of the congregation. The nuns will have a special audience with the Holy Father the day after the ceremony.


Mother Teresa's 'miracle' to receive Communion from pope (Catholic News Service)
Special guests at Mother Teresa's beatification (Catholic Weekly)
Play's a smash with nuns and children (National Post)
India's leader joins tributes to Mother Teresa (EWTN/Catholic World News)
Mother Teresa's nuns set up camp in Rome (Independent Catholic News)
The Debate Over Sainthood (CBS)
Nun's blood to pope (
200,000 expected for Mother Teresa's beatification (Catholic World News)
Nuns gather Mother Teresa's 'relics' (2/10/03)
Beatification Mother Teresa of Calcutta 19 October 2003 (Vatican website)
Mother Teresa of Calcutta - Official site of the Cause of Canonisation

16 Oct 2003