Saint Mother Teresa Confronted Hillary Clinton on Abortion: A Mother Can't Learn to Love by Killing Her Child

First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton met Mother Teresa at the opening of the Mother Teresa Home for Infant Children in Washington DC in 1995. | (Photo: Reuters)

As Roman Catholics around the world celebrated their newest saint on Sunday when Pope Francis canonized Mother Teresa of Calcutta, known as the "saint of the gutters," several publications have been recalling her strong pro-life speeches, including one in the presence of Hillary Clinton.

Reuters reports that as many as 120,000 people gathered at the Vatican to honor Teresa, who was one of the most well known Catholic figures of the 20th century, establishing a ministry for the poor in the Indian city of Calcutta.

"For Mother Teresa, mercy was the salt which gave flavour to her work, it was the light which shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering," Pope Francis said on Sunday.

Festivities were marked with further service to the poor, as members of Mother Teresa's order treated some 1,500 homeless people across Italy with pizza.

Several publications, including the National Catholic Register, sought to inform readers that Teresa once met Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, back when the latter was first lady, and delivered a strong pro-life speech.

Paul Kengor, a professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College, wrote in an article that Teresa spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington in February 1994, where she argued that abortion was a mother murdering her own child.

A nun, belonging to the global Missionaries of Charity, carries a relic of Mother Teresa of Calcutta before a mass celebrated by Pope Francis for her canonisation in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican. | (Photo: Reuters/Stefano Rellandini)

"By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. [Abortion is] really a war against the child, and I hate the killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that the mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?" Teresa asked at the time, as Clinton, who has long been an advocate for abortion, was listening alongside her husband, then-President Bill Clinton.

"Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love one another, but to use violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion," the Catholic nun added.

Peggy Noonan, the former speechwriter of former President Ronald Reagan, said that while the entire room was applauding Teresa's speech, the Clintons "sat there, in the glare of the hot lights, all eyes in the crowd fixed upon them, as they tried not to move or be noticed, conspicuous in their lack of response, clearly uncomfortable as the applause raged on."

Hillary Clinton alluded to Teresa's speech in 1994 almost 10 years later in her memoirs, calling Teresa "unerringly direct," and admitted that the two did not agree on the issue of abortion.

"She disagreed with my views on a woman's right to choose and told me so," Clinton admitted.

The former first lady agreed with Teresa on the need for more adoptions, however, and the two worked together to open the Mother Teresa Home for Infant Children in Washington in 1995, which allowed mothers to take care of their babies until they found them adoptive or foster homes.

The two continued communicating, and Teresa did not give up on trying to change Clinton's views on abortion.

"Mother Teresa never lectured or scolded me; her admonitions were always loving and heartfelt," the Democratic presidential nominee said in her memoir, adding that she had "the greatest respect for her opposition to abortion."

The article noted that Clinton did not change her stance, however, but attended a funeral mass for Teresa two years later in Calcutta, after the "saint of the gutters" had passed away.

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

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