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World mourning death of Mother Teresa

By United Press International

Prominent religious, political and other figures are expressing their grief over the death today of Mother Teresa, the diminutive Roman Catholic nun called the 'Saint of the Gutters' who died of a heart attack. She had stood down from the leadership of the Missionaries of Charity -- which she founded in 1950 -- in early 1996 because of poor health. Sister Christine, a nun at the Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa in Calcutta, said: 'Her death came very sudden. Mother was very quiet ever since she heard about the death of Princess Diana. Mother wanted to go and attend the (Saturday) funeral but her doctors did not advise her to undertake such a travel.' Sister Christine said while addressing special prayers this week, Mother Teresa had said of Diana: 'She died very young. I do not understand God's ways.' Mother Teresa had celebrated her 87th birthday last week by inviting 200 street children to a celebration at which she gave them food packets and blessed them, saying they were the people 'very close to my heart.' Archbishop Ivan Dias, the Archbishop of Bombay, India, who met with her frequently, tells United Press International, 'She was oozing love from every pore to everyone who met her. I could sense that her horizontal dimension of good to the poor was balanced by that vertical dimension of union with God.' Bishop William Lori, the Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, D.C., tells UPI, 'There was a great simplicity about her and, in that simplicity, God shone forth.'

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Bishop Lori says Mother Teresa's heart 'was just wide open to God.' ---

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Copyright 1997 by United Press International. All rights reserved. ---

(x x x open to God.') In New York, hundreds flocked to the Sisters of Charity to lay flowers. New York Gov. George Pataki said: 'Today the people of New York and the people of the world mourn the loss of a true saint. 'God put Mother Teresa on this earth to fulfill a high purpose -- to spread love, kindness and faith throughout the world, to comfort the sick, and care for the poor. Wherever people were in need, Mother Teresa was there with a kind, helping, loving hand.' Former President Ronald Reagan and former first lady Nancy Reagan issued a statement, saying they were 'deeply saddened' by the death of Mother Teresa. 'It is a monumental loss to people of all denominations. ' National Right-to-Life Committee President Wanda Franz says Mother Teresa, a staunch opponent of abortion, 'was a humble and diligent champion of the unborn and will be remembered for her words and her works on behalf of the world's unborn children.' Keith Fournier, president of the Catholic Alliance in Washington, D. C., said 'Catholic Alliance joins the millions world over who grieve the loss of this holy woman. She truly was a sweet aroma of Christ in our midst. 'We pledge in our own way to carry on her mission and to bring an end to the culture of death and selfishness which she stood so prophetically against by rebuilding a culture of life, love, faith and family.' Noting that Mother Teresa stood firmly against abortion, Fournier said 'Alliance calls upon the President of the United States to immediately call for a moratorium on all abortions. We call on all medical professionals who participate in abortions to cease. 'That is the only truly fitting tribute to this saint of God.' ---

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Copyright 1997 by United Press International. All rights reserved. ---

(x x x saint of God.') The Rev. Billy Graham said, 'Mother Teresa was as beautiful on the inside as princess Diana was on the outside. She always spoke with great boldness. She was one of the most humble and sweetest of God's servants that I have ever known. 'Few people in our time exemplified so powerfully and yet simply the love and compassion of Christ as Mother Teresa. When she walked into the room to greet me, I felt that I was indeed meeting a saint. 'The whole world, regardless of religious background, admired Mother Teresa and will miss her. She had a moral and spiritual impact on the world that we rarely see.' Ray Flynn, the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican in Rome, said: 'She was God's personal angel on Earth. She was a saint in life and she will be a saint in death. 'The poor, the needy and the defenseless of the world have really lost (their) strongest soldier.' Cardinal Roger Mahony, the Archbishop of Los Angeles, says 'She told us through word and deed that every human life is sacred, from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death. She never ceased to remind us that the greatest poverty of all is to live and to die unloved and unwanted.' The Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, General Secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, issued a statement saying, 'Her gentleness and strength, her gifts of endurance and loving service become models of hope and promise for all those who pursue the journey of faithful service.' ---

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Copyright 1997 by United Press International. All rights reserved. ---

(x x x of faithful service.') Queen Elizabeth of Britain, in a message sent to the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, said: 'At this time of mourning for us in the United Kingdom, it was with deep sadness that I learned this evening of the death of Mother Teresa. 'Her untiring devotion to the poor and destitute of all religions has been an inspiration worldwide. 'She will continue to live in the hearts of all those who have been touched by her selfless work. 'On behalf of the people of the United Kingdom, I convey my most heartfelt sympathy to the Missionaries of Charity.' India's Prime Minister, I.K. Gujral said: 'Words fail me to express my sorrow. An apostle of peace and love, Mother Teresa is no more with us.' The Archbishop of Canterbury issued a statement, which read: 'Mother Teresa was a truly inspirational servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her influence was far greater than just within her own Christian tradition. It touched the hearts of Christians throughout the world. 'In Mother Teresa a deep and compelling spirituality was combined with a practical application of faith. 'I am truly saddened by Mother Teresa's death. However, her legacy lives on in her community, and in her work with the poor as well as in the minds of all those she inspired.' Describing the Mother as an angel of mercy, India's President, K.R. Narayanan said: 'Such a one as her rarely walks upon the earth. Though she was a world citizen, she was particularly Indian in the true spirit of our culture and her passing away is an immense loss to millions of our people.' ---

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Copyright 1997 by United Press International. All rights reserved. ---

Prominent religious, political and other figures are expressing their grief over the death (Friday) of Mother Teresa. Archbishop Ivan Dias, the Archbishop of Bombay, India, says 'She was oozing love from every pore to everyone who met her.'

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