(LifeSiteNews.com) – The assertion by Mother Theresa of Calcutta that abortion is the “greatest threat to peace in the world” has become proverbial in the pro-life world. In 1985, she reiterated and expanded on the point in an interview with New York journalist and pro-life activist Thom O’Connor that, until recently, has been almost unknown.
In the O’Connor interview, which is now publicly available after being uploaded onto Youtube, Mother Teresa explained that the unborn child, is created “in the image of God for greater things, to love and be loved. That is why it is such a terrible thing to think that the mother, to whom the child has been given as a gift of God, could destroy it.”
“That’s why I think that abortion has become the greatest destroyer of peace today because it destroys the life of the child, but also destroys the conscience of the mother also, and for years and years, she knows that she has murdered her own child,” she said.
The famed humanitarian called it “something unbelievable” that the “mother can murder her own child.”
She recalled meeting one woman who had aborted her child eight years previous, and who told Mother Teresa that “every time she meets a child of eight years old, she remembers, ‘My child would be this age now if I didn’t kill it.’”
“It took me a long time to help her to ask God to forgive her.”
Mother Theresa, the foundress of the Missionaries of Charity and Nobel Prize winner, spoke to O’Connor at the National Catholic Coalition Conference on Women in June, 1985 in New York.
O’Connor spoke about his experience of interviewing the woman that many believed at the time was a living saint. “Her personality and warm presence are so powerful, so commanding, that her gentle humility quietly radiates throughout her entire being,” he said.
In the interview Mother Theresa spoke briefly of her work among the “poorest of the poor” in India and elsewhere, and noted that abortion is less common among those with less material wealth.
“Something very strange is that the poor people are not destroying their children, the unborn child,” she said. “It is the better-off people who want something else and are afraid of the little one. So they destroy the child.
“But the very poor people are not doing that. We have seen it again and again in every place where our sisters are working.”
Responding to a question about the unusual growth of her religious order the Missionaries of Charity, at a time when nearly all religious orders in the world were shrinking dramatically, she said, “Yes, our young people are very, very generous.”
She said that when they are asked why they want to join the Missionaries of Charity, young people say “they want a life of poverty and prayer and sacrifice that will lead them to the service of the poor.”
She praised the “great tenderness and generosity” of young people, saying that “sometimes they are misled and they cannot choose rightly. But once they are put in touch with the poor, and they touch Christ in the distressing disguise of the poor, immediately they think, ‘Yes, I’ve found Him. I love Him. I want to serve Him.’”