Mother Teresa was invited to address the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development on September 9, 1994. What follows is the text of her remarks which centered on the violence of abortion and an appeal to accept the humanity and the precious gift of the child.
I speak today to you from my heart – to each person in all the nations of the world, to people with power to make big decisions as well as to all the mothers, fathers and children in the cities, towns and villages.
Population & Development – Life as a Gift
Each one of us is here today because we have been loved by God who created us and our parents who accepted and cared enough to give us life. Life is the most beautiful gift of God. That is why it is so painful to see what is happening today in so many places around the world: life is being deliberately destroyed by war, by violence, by abortion. And we have been created by God for greater things – to love and be loved.
Violence not the Answer to Population Problems
I have said often, and I am sure of it, that the greatest destroyer of peace in the world today is abortion. If a mother can kill her own child, what is there to stop you and me from killing each other? The only one who has the right to take life is the One who has created it. Nobody else has that right: not conference, no government.
I am sure that deep down in your heart, you know that the unborn child is a human being loved by God, like you and me. How can anyone knowing that, deliberately destroy that life? It frightens me to think of all the people who kill their conscience so that they can perform an abortion.
When we die, we will come face to face with God, the Author of life. Who will give an account to God for the millions and millions of babies who were not allowed to have the chance to live, to experience loving and being loved?
The World is big enough for all
God has created a world big enough for all the lives He wishes to be born. It is only our hearts that are not big enough to want them and accept them. If all the money that is being spent on finding ways to kill people was used instead to feed them and house them and educate them – how beautiful that would be. We are too often afraid of the sacrifices we might have to make. But where there is love, there is always sacrifice. And when we love until it hurts, there is joy and peace.
Mother Teresa will not refuse any child
If there is a child that you don’t want or can’t feed or educate, give that child to me. I will not refuse any child. I will give a home, or find loving parents for him or for her. We are fighting abortion by adoption and have given thousands of children to caring families. And it is so beautiful to see the love and unity that a child brings to a family.
The child is the most beautiful gift of God to a family, to a nation. Let us never refuse this gift of God. My prayer for each one of you is that you may always have the faith to see and love God in each person including the unborn. God bless you.
For more from St. Teresa of Calcutta on population and life issues, read Dr. Italy’s post MOTHER TERESA ON ABORTION.
These words on abortion and the gift of the child were spoken on September 9, 1994 by Mother Teresa of Calcutta to the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development.
For the biography of Mother Teresa posted on the Vatican website, click here.