Mother Teresa shelter razed in Moscow

Sept. 20, 2011 at 2:33 PM
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MOSCOW, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A Moscow shelter run by the late Mother Teresa's order has been demolished just days before a bronze monument to the Catholic missionary is to be unveiled.

Moscow authorities have refused to comment on Friday's demolition of a building belonging to the Missionaries of Charity that housed the homeless and disabled, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

City Hall went to court three years ago to force the Catholic religious organization to demolish one of its buildings in eastern Moscow and remove the top floor of another, citing a lack of permits.

"The demolished building was constructed with voluntary donations from people all over the world, and its destruction is a sign of blindness to human grief and contempt for those who help the poorest," said the Missionaries of Charity in a statement released by Moscow's Roman Catholic Archdiocese.

Mother Teresa, who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and was beatified soon after her death in 1997, founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950.

A bronze statue of the Albanian-born nun is to be unveiled Saturday near Moscow's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

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