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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mother Teresa Letter Defending Pedophile 'Authentic' and 'Disturbing,' Says Former Nun

Posted By and on Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Last month, SF Weekly published a cover story revealing that two candidates for Catholic sainthood -- including Mother Teresa, founder of the Missionaries of Charity order and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize -- had taken steps to protect convicted pedophile priest Donald McGuire after molestation allegations were lodged against him by a Bay Area family in 1993.

Mother Teresa's implication in the McGuire scandal comes through a typed 1994 letter, never before published, in which she appears to urge the priest's Jesuit superior to return him to active ministry despite the abuse allegation. (McGuire returned to ministry, and molested multiple additional boys before his arrest in 2003.) While the letter is unsigned, it bears a salutation in her characteristic handwriting, and contains strong clues indicating Mother Teresa as the author. For instance, the letter-writer refers by name to the nun's four top deputies, calling them "my assistants."

We just came across a videotaped response to our story that was published by Mary Johnson. A former Missionaries of Charity nun, Johnson left the order after 20 years and has just published a book, An Unquenchable Thirst, detailing her experiences working under Mother Teresa. She read our story and the letter, which we published online.

"It's a disturbing letter," Johnson says. "The salutation at the top definitely bears Mother's handwritten script. It looks completely authentic to me." She adds that she suspects the typed portion of the letter was composed for Mother Teresa by two of her conservative senior assistants, Sister Frederick and Sister Priscilla.

Johnson goes on to say that "Mother Teresa had a blind spot when it comes to the effects of sexual abuse" and "expressed on more than one occasion that it was a greater sin to talk about this abuse than the actual abuse itself." In her book, she says, she describes one nun, "a known sexual predator" whose victims were other nuns, that Mother Teresa admitted to final vows.

The entire video is worth watching, above.

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Peter Jamison

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