The government should consult the church and the Missionaries of Charity before taking a decision on the Albanian government’s request for Mother Teresa’s remains, the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) said on Monday.
“As and when such a request comes to us, we will take a considered decision in consultation with the Missionaries of Charity,” said CBCI spokesperson Babu Joseph.
Stressing that the church and the Missionaries of Charity, the organisation founded by Mother Teresa in Kolkata in 1950, should be consulted on the issue, Rev. Joseph told IANS: “We have not yet received official communication in this regard.”
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.
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.
The West Bengal government also said it expects to be consulted before the central government takes a final decision.
The Ministry of External Affairs refused to comment on the issue.