09/20/2011, 00.00
RUSSIA

A house built by Mother Teresa torn down in Moscow

An attempt by the Russian Orthodox Church to stop a demolition order issued because of a “lack of permits” proves fruitless. Across town, Moscow authorities are preparing to unveil a bronze statue of the Blessed of Kolkata next Saturday.
Moscow (AsiaNews) – As the city of Moscow prepares to unveil a bronze statue of Mother Teresa next Saturday, the city government tore down a hospice run by the Missionaries of Charity (the religious order founded by the Blessed of Kolkata) for “lack of permits”. All attempts by the Russian Orthodox Church to find a compromise, including an intervention by Patriarch Kirill, to stop the demolition on 16 September came to naught. The statue of Mother Teresa, who was beatified by John Paul II in 2003, will stand next to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Located in the eastern part of the Russian capital, the two-building hospice drew the attention of Moscow municipal authorities three years ago when they tried to get a court order to force the Missionaries to tear down one of the two buildings, and remove the last storey in the other.

For the sisters, “the destruction of a place built with donations from around the world is a sign of blindness to human pain and a show of contempt for those who help the poor.” For their part, Moscow municipal authorities chose instead to make no comment.

The Moscow hospice was founded in 1990 and is run by missionaries from around the world. It helps abandoned children, terminally ill patients, the homeless and the disabled. It also helps recovering alcoholics.
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