Christians in India on January 8 expressed relief and joy over the federal government decision to restore the Missionaries of Charity’s license to receive overseas funds.
The “most welcome” news, says Sister Dorothy Fernandes, national secretary of the Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace, an advocacy group for Catholic religious, responding to the official nod for renewing the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) certificate of the congregation founded by Saint Mother Teresa of Kolkata.
The federal Ministry of Home Affairs on January 7 restored the 71-year-old congregation’s registration, which is mandatory to receive donations from overseas.
“If there is anyone serving selflessly the most unwanted of our society it’s the Missionaries of Charity Sisters and Brothers,” asserts Sister Dorothy, the Patna-based member of the Presentation congregation.
Brinelle D’Souza, chairperson of the Centre for Health and Mental, School of Social Work under the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences, too says the Teresa nuns work “with the poorest of the poor on issues where even the state is absent.”
Father Anand Mathew, a social activist in Varanasi, says the license restoration has brought “immense relief to so many of us.” The member of the Indian Missionary Society says he and other activists in Varanasi have been mobilizing the civil society to support the two homes managed by the Teresa sisters in the ancient city.
Sister Jessy Kurian, a Supreme Court lawyer, welcomed the news saying “finally justice is done.” The registration renewal shows that the government has not only recognized but reaffirmed the selfless service being rendered to humanity especially to Indian people by the Teresa nuns, she told Matters India.
The ministry December 25, 2021, stated that it had not renewed the Teresa congregation’s FCRA registration since it had received “some adverse inputs” about the nuns’ activities such as indulging in religious conversion. The registration was valid only until October 31, 2021, but extended it for two more months, the ministry added.