In the Outlook section of the Washington Post for 10/29/95, there is an interesting article by Christopher Hitchens on everyone's favorite Nobel Prize winning Saint, Mother Teresa. In common with her co-religionists, she does not scruple overmuch where the money comes from, so long as it comes. Charles Keating, in addition to being a swindler on an absolutely Republican scale, was one of her contributors to the tune of a cool million. During that worthy's trial, Mother Teresa wrote to the presiding judge, one Lance Ito, in support of her holy cash cow:
"I don't know anything about Mr. Charles Keating's work or his business or the matters you are dealing with," she stated, "I only know that he has been kind and generous to God's poor and always ready to help whenever there was a need. It is for this reason that I do not want to forget him now while he and his family are suffering. Jesus has told us 'whatever you do to the least of my brethren YOU DID IT TO ME.'"
Can anyone say 'attempting to bring holy pressure to bear upon the trial?' Paul Turley, deputy district attorney for Los Angeles, apparently did. He sent a reply to Mother T in early 1992, after the trial was completed. He wrote as a private citizen, and put it to her:
"Mr. Keating was convicted of defrauding 17 individuals of more than $900,000. These 17 persons were representative of 17,000 individuals from whom Mr. Keating stole $252,000,000. . . . The victims of Mr. Keating's fraud came from a wide spectrum of society. Some were wealthy and well educated. Most were people of modest means and unfamiliar with high finance. One was, indeed, a poor carpenter who did not speak English and had his life savings stolen by Mr. Keating's fraud.
"The Biblical slogan of your organization is 'As long as you did it to one of these My least brethren, you did it to me,' Mr. Turley pointed out, continuing, "the 'least' of the bretheren are among those whom Mr. Keating fleeced without flinching. As you well know, divine forgiveness is available to all, but forgiveness must be preceded by admission of sin. Not only has Mr. Keating failed to admit his sins and his crimes, he persists in self-righteously blaming others for his own misdeeds.
"You urge Judge Ito to look into his heart--- as he sentences Charles Keating--- and do what Jesus would do. I submit the same challenge to you. Ask yourself what Jesus would do if he were given the fruits of a crime; what Jesus would do were he in possession of money that had been stolen; what Jesus would do if he were being exploited by a thief to ease his conscience?
"I submit that Jesus would promptly and unhesitatingly return the stolen property to its rightful owners. You should do the same. You have been given money by Mr. Keating that he has been convicted of stealing by fraud. Do not permit him the 'indulgence' he desires. Do not keep the money. Return it to those who worked for it and earned it!
"If you contact me I will put you in direct contact with the rightful owners of the property now in your possession."
Anyone here like to take a guess at the reply Mr. Turley got from the most holy Mother Teresa? Anyone like to take a shot at the amount of cash the Saint has sent to the rightful owners thereof?