Church wants Mother Teresa's remains in India

Church wants Mother Teresa's remains in India

Rejecting the Albanian government's demand for the remains of Mother Teresa, an external affairs ministry official said that Mother Teresa was an Indian citizen and there was no question of returning her remains.

"The Catholic church gladly welcomes the response of the external affairs ministry that Mother Teresa was fully an Indian citizen. We would want her remains to be in India," said CBCI spokesman Rev Babu Joseph.

The church said: "Mother Teresa had all through her life and activities built up a strong bond with all sections of Indian society and she is respected by all in the country. And this was the filial relationship between the Mother and Indians, which cannot be overlooked."

Albania is Mother Teresa's country of origin. Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha has asked New Delhi for her remains to be returned to Albania by the 100th anniversary of her birth in August 2010.

The church had said earlier that the government should consult it and the Missionaries of Charity before taking a decision on Albania's request for Mother Teresa's remains.

Mother Teresa, who was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2003, is buried at the courtyard of the Missionaries of Charity headquarters in Kolkata. She died in 1997.