- Pope Francis - who in December last year had approved a second miracle attributed to Mother Teresa - on Tuesday announced that she would be declared a saint on September 4.
- However, an anti-superstition group has criticised the Catholic Church\'s sainthood procedure, saying canonisation based on the miracles was irrational and would undermine her social work.
An NGO fighting to eradicate superstition in the country, the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) has slammed as "unscientific and irrational" the criterion of "two miracles" based on which the Pope has canonised Mother Teresa as a saint, saying the method devalues the social work done by the Nobel peace laureate.
Pope Francis announced that Mother Teresa would be declared a saint on 4 September 2014. In December 2015, the Pope approved a second miracle attributed to the Noble Prize winner.
After the December announcement, the anti-superstition outfit, founded by noted rationalist, late Narendra Dabholkar, had sent a series of letters to the Pope seeking dropping of the condition of two miracles for canonisation, Milind Deshmukh, state secretary of MANS said."When the noble work of Mother Teresa is enough to declare her a saint, the criterion of two miracles is like devaluing her service towards the underprivileged and poor people,"
"We have not received any response from the Vatican but we will continue to oppose the method by launching a signature campaign across India and abroad, and will appeal to like-minded people and organisations to join us."Deshmukh challenged the Vatican to prove the "miracles" and said that the MANS had prepared a draft to deal with the social boycott enforced by "caste panchayats" in the state.
The Maharashtra government said it will bring a bill in the ongoing Budget session to root out unconstitutional practices of caste and community panchayats.
"We prepared a draft for the bill by speaking to victims (of social boycott) across the state and listed 41 types of punishment ordered by such panchayats. We have submitted it to the government with a request to pass it in the current session."
MANS has organised a convention in Pune on 20 March to demand that the bill be fast-tracked and made into a law, Deshmukh added.