Analysis: UN “Day of Charity” Honoring Mother Teresa Contrasts with Abortion Politics
Escrito por Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D. and Rebecca Oas, Ph.D.
MOTHER TERESA: Prague memorial plaque, photo by Michal Manas
NEW YORK, December 27 (C-FAM) Mother Teresa is the epitome of charity. So says the United Nations when it declared the first Day of Charity in her honor in 2013, urging national leaders to educate and raise awareness about charity among their citizens.
By encouraging charity like Mother Teresa, the UN General Assembly threw down a challenge for those who argue abortion and sexual progressiveness are solutions to poverty and inequality.
Mother Teresa’s work relieving the suffering of the poorest of the poor jibes with the UN’s purpose promoting peace and human development. But her understanding of charity stands in stark contrast to popular notions of charity, and particularly the aims sometimes promoted in UN social policy.
Charity is the very purpose of man’s existence. “To love and be loved,” Mother Teresa told UN delegates. Real love, real charity, means “giving until it hurts,” she told them.
Among the sources of violence and conflict, Mother Teresa singled out laws allowing abortion. In a 1985 address to the UN General Assembly she said, “If we are really sincere in our hearts that we really want peace today, let us make that strong resolution that in our countries, in our cities, we will not allow a single child to feel unwanted, to feel unloved, to throw away a society . . . that in our countries that terrible law of killing the innocents, of destroying life, destroying the presence of God, be removed from our country, our nations, from our people, from our families.”
“I have said often and I am sure of it, that the greatest destroyer of peace in the world today is abortion,” she wrote to delegates to the 1994 Cairo international conference on population and development. “If a mother can kill her own child, what is there to stop you and me from killing each other? The only one who has the right to take life is the One who has created it. Nobody else has that right, not a conference, no government.”
Going further, she said those who promote population control destroy charity itself. “It frightens me to think of all the people who kill their conscience so that they can perform an abortion …. God has created a world big enough for all the lives He wishes to be born. It is only our hearts that are not big enough to want them and accept them.”
No government can provide charity, Mother Teresa reminded leaders, because money cannot provide “tender love and care.” It was in wealthy societies that she saw a great poverty of loneliness. Removing the suffering of the elderly and unwanted in a “throwaway society,” as she called it, was “very difficult” and could only be done with much prayer.
Mother Teresa sharply critiqued those who denied the “beautiful differences” between men and women. In a letter to delegates to the 1995 UN Beijing women’s conference she said, “They will only bring division, unhappiness, and destruction of peace to the world,” and that “those who want to make women and men the same are all in favor of abortion.”
She linked radical feminism to the suffering of women, their lack of charity for themselves and for their children. “No job, no plans, no possessions, no idea of ‘freedom’ can take the place of love. So anything that destroys God’s gift of motherhood destroys his most precious gift to women – the ability to love as a woman,” she wrote.
Pointing out the way abortion has led to a decline in the status of women and motherhood, witnessed today in the 33 to 100 million girls killed before and after birth in China and India, Mother Teresa said, “God told us, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ So first I am to love myself rightly, and then to love my neighbor like that. But how can I love myself unless I accept myself as God has made me?”