Postal Service Thanked for Mother Teresa Stamp, Ceremony Remembers Her
by Steven Ertelt
September 7, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The pro-life Catholic group that organized the petition in favor of the Postal Service issuing a stamp honoring pro-life luminary Mother Teresa is thankful to see the stamp issued. Meanwhile, those gathered for a special service in Washington, D.C., remembered her pro-life outreach.
Brian Burch, the president of Catholic Vote Civic Action organized a petition in favor of the stamp that gathered signatures from 146,000 people who wanted the Post Office to issue the stamp.
“We thank the United States Postal Service for honoring the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s birth with this beautiful stamp. Our petition in support of the stamp struck a chord because Mother Teresa continues to serve as an inspiration for people today,” said Burch.
He told LifeNews.com his group "is now calling on Americans to honor the life of this saintly and heroic woman by purchasing Mother Teresa stamps this week."
The stamp was unveiled on Sunday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at a special service and they go on sale today.
“I’m glad that the Postal Service could make an exception for their ‘Never on Sunday’ rule by issuing this stamp 13 years to the day since Mother Teresa’s death on September 5, 1997,” said Burch. “The Postal Service also understands that having the ceremony here at this beautiful Basilica doesn’t mean that the United States Government is suddenly Roman Catholic.”
Burch acknowledged that the Post Office policy does prohibit stamps that “honor religious institutions or individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings or beliefs" but he argued the policy should not prevent the Postal Service from issuing stamps honoring religious persons who are well known for their contributions to the world.
“Mother Teresa was proudly Roman Catholic, and her religious faith clearly inspired her charity. However, her service to the world is universally recognized as worthy of acclaim. We are glad that the Postal Service recognizes that her Catholic faith does not disqualify her from the receiving honors such as this. To do so would constitute a gross form of religious discrimination,” he said.
A group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation unsuccessfully attempted to stop the new stamp claiming that Mother Teresa had a ‘darker side.’ But Burch says the real cause of their anger seems to be her unapologetic defense of sexual morality and the dignity of all human life.
Burch noted that the group accused the nun of making a “gratuitous tirade against abortion” when she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. They called that speech a “disturbing, befogged religious rant.”
Mother Teresa’s tireless pro-life stance received mention at the Sunday ceremony, with over 2,500 people in attendance.
Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States, was the main celebrant at the Mass. In his homily, Archbishop Sambi recalled Mother Teresa’s words that “the biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis but the feeling of being unwanted. The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion.”
Monsignor Walter R. Rossi remembered she protected the “poor, unborn, and destitute."
The stamp was designed by Colorado Springs artist Thomas Blackshear II, who was in attendance.
The Postal Service has honored the work of religious figures in the past including John Witherspoon in 1976, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1979 and 1999, Martin Luther in 1983, and Father Edward Flanagan in 1986.
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