Mother’s Teresa Roman Catholic order – the Missionaries of Charity are under investigation for allegedly selling children.
The Indian government has ordered all of its state governments to perform an investigation of all child care centers operated by the Missionaries. This order comes after the shutting down of a home run by the Missionaries on July 6th, which provided shelter for pregnant, unmarried women after a nun and a worker were arrested for baby trafficking. Authorities discovered that four infants have been sold, including a six-month-old boy, which was sold for about $730. The nun – Sister Koncilia and the staff member Anima Indwar were arrested in connection with trafficking. The Times of India report that Indwar has confessed to selling the children.
CNA reports that Indwar was paid about $1760 for a baby, which was later taken back, however the money was not reimbursed, and the couple then tipped off the police.
The Times, reported on Monday, July 16th that the six-month-old boy has been located and recovered.
Ranchi Superintendent of Police Anish Gupta was quoted by the Times “We are getting many leads, but we cannot divulge them as of now. We are working on verifying them.”
On July 16th, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi announced that she had instructed states to inspect homes run by the Missionaries of Charity all around the country. The ministry also added that under India’s Juvenile Justice Act, shelters dealing with adoption must register with the Central Adoption Resource Authority. Despite that, more than 4 000 institutions are yet to comply with it more than two years after it has come into effect. An issue is that India’s adoption system is almost non-regulated, which contributes to the high rates of child trafficking.
Missionaries of Charity discontinued adoptions in India, because they disagreed with the government rules that made it easier for single, divorced and separated people to adopt children, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Samita Kumar, spokeswoman for the order was quoted by CNA saying, “There was no question of selling any child as the Missionaries of Charity had stopped giving children for adoption three years ago.” She also added that even when they were processing adoptions they were not accepting money for them.
Missionaries of Charity was founded by Albanian nun Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, later known as Mother Teresa in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1950. Mother Teresa was recognized as a saint by the Vatican in 2016, after her death in 1997. Her order grew to become one of the most visible in India, they particularly cared for the sick and dying.
When alive Mother Teresa and her order were also accused, notably from Christopher Hitchens that they took part in deathbed baptisms, converting the dying and glorifying the suffering of the dying rather than trying to relieve it. Some also criticized her management of the charity’s funds and her friendship with controversial figures such as the Haitian Dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier.