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Hillary Clinton and Mother Teresa

An inconvenient truth about the adoption home founded by the former first lady and the nun from Calcutta.

12:00 AM, Feb 24, 2010 • By PAUL KENGOR
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To Hillary’s great credit, when she returned to Washington, she went to bat for Mother, rounding up pro bono lawyers, fighting the DC bureaucracy, telephoning community leaders and pastors, calling them to the White House to see how they could help.

Mother Teresa was equally relentless. When she feared the project was lagging, she sent letters, emissaries, and called the first lady. “She called me from Vietnam,” remembered Hillary, “she called me from India, always with the same message: ‘When do I get my center for babies?’”

On June 19, 1995, she got her center. That moment is captured by a photo of Hillary and Mother Teresa smiling and clasping hands in the nursery. Mother Teresa died two years later.

My compliments to Mrs. Clinton: Unlike so many liberals who insist they want abortion to be “safe and legal” but “rare,” here was one who finally lifted a finger to promote the birth and adoption of unborn babies rather than feed them into the jaws of Planned Parenthood clinics. Hillary Clinton, lifelong Methodist, did a good work.

It turns out, however, that the work didn’t bear the fruit we hoped. It reportedly lasted a handful of years, closing by 2002. World’s Emily Belz called the Washington, D.C. branch of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. The nun who answered didn’t go into details on the home’s closure, noting that the nuns are not permitted to talk to the press, but did confirm that the order sold the Chevy Chase house in 2002. (One could only wish that the rich liberals in this wealthy neighborhood might have tossed some scraps to the home as they scooted by in their Beamers.)

So, that’s it. The adoption home that Clinton and her advocates have touted as a display of her Christian compassion has been out of operation for a long time.

This prompts some inconvenient questions:

Has Mrs. Clinton known that the home has been shut down, all the while boasting about it in books, statements, interviews, and no less than the keynote at the 2010 National Prayer Breakfast?

FoxNews sought an explanation from Clinton’s spokesman, Philippe Reines, who said: "[Hillary Clinton] remains very proud of her work with Mother Teresa in opening this home in 1995. Their partnership is a success story to be emulated."

Yes, but what kind of success?

This begs another inconvenient question—actually, more of a request:

Where’s Mrs. Clinton’s commitment? Why not strive to keep the home open? Where are her wealthy liberal friends, overflowing with compassion for the needy?

I have a sincere suggestion for Mrs. Clinton: What would Mother Teresa do? This frail little woman got on her mangled hands and knees and fed and held the dying of Calcutta. She declared it “a poverty” when a child died from abortion. Why not rekindle the tenacity Mother had shown in wanting that home, and which Hillary seemed to share?

With the breathtaking number of abortions performed in the nation’s capital, and with Obama-Pelosi-Reid having approved taxpayer funding of abortions in the District, there’s an urgent need.

I opened my 2007 book with a quote from Mother Teresa, directed at Hillary: “My prayer for you is that you come to understand and have the courage to answer.”

I was thinking of Hillary’s need to understand the tragedy of abortion. Now I’m also thinking of the need to answer the call to continue one’s service. 

Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College. His books include God and Ronald Reagan, God and George W. Bush, and God and Hillary Clinton.

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