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Report: Mother Teresa Had Exorcism

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    NHNE News List Current Members: 508 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... REPORT: MOTHER TERESA HAD EXORCISM By Chandra
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 6, 2001
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      REPORT: MOTHER TERESA HAD EXORCISM
      By Chandra Banerjee
      Associated Press
      Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2001

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/aponline/20010905/aponline172521_000.ht
      m

      CALCUTTA, India ­­ Mother Teresa had an exorcism performed on her while
      hospitalized in 1997, the Archbishop of Calcutta said Wednesday.

      The disclosure by Archbishop Henry D'Souza came as hundreds of people in
      this eastern Indian city paid homage to the renowned caregiver on the fourth
      anniversary of her death.

      But the Rev. Richard McBrien, a Notre Dame theology professor, called the
      exorcism and the archbishop's explanation for it "bizarre."

      D'Souza said the exorcism would not affect the nun's candidacy for
      sainthood.

      "No way. Mother was not possessed ... it did not hurt her sanctity," D'Souza
      told The Associated Press. He said the need for the exorcism was a sign of
      her human side.

      "Human dimension in a saint is quite normal," he said. "It was rather a sign
      of closeness to God."

      He said the exorcism took place in a hospital where the nun was admitted
      because of heart trouble before her death on Sept. 5, 1997 at age 87.
      D'Souza said he was undergoing similar treatment at the same hospital.

      The doctor treating Mother Teresa reported that she was having trouble
      sleeping, he said.

      "There was no medical reason for that," the archbishop said. "It struck me
      that there could be some evil spirit which was trying to disturb her."

      He said he had subsequently asked ­ with the nun's consent ­ for a priest in
      one of the churches to perform an exorcism.

      Along with the priest, Mother Teresa participated in a "prayer of
      protection" and "slept peacefully after that," he said.

      Catholic experts said it would be highly unusual for Mother Teresa to have
      undergone an exorcism.

      Exorcism is extremely rare in the Catholic church and is used only when no
      psychological or physical explanation can be found for dramatic changes in
      behavior, said Scott Appleby, director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of
      American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.

      McBrien, who teaches at the South Bend, Ind., university, said exorcism is
      used only when the person is thought to be possessed by the devil.

      "I cannot believe they would have allowed that to happen," McBrien said.
      "They could have performed the rite of the anointing of the sick. That's one
      of the sacraments. Exorcisms aren't sacraments."

      McBrien agreed that an exorcism likely would not affect Mother Teresa's
      candidacy for sainthood. However, he questioned whether Mother Teresa was
      truly able to give her consent to such a procedure.

      "People would challenge wills made by people in that circumstance," McBrien
      said.

      After Mother Teresa died, Pope John Paul II waived the customary five-year
      waiting period to start the process leading to possible sainthood.

      The Calcutta archdiocese's formal investigation into Mother Teresa's life
      and virtues was completed last month and submitted to the Vatican.

      On Wednesday, Sister Nirmala, the nun's successor, said she had not heard
      anything from the Vatican about the process.

      "All of us are praying for an early sainthood of our mother," she told nuns
      and volunteers who gathered to offer morning prayer at Mother Teresa's tomb.
      "We feel her absence very much physically. But spiritually she is always
      with us and guiding us in our work."

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