Mother Teresa really liked Charles Keating. So much so, in fact, did she really not want him to go to prison, for fleecing thousands of hard working Americans out of millions of dollars, some of which she had gratefully received as gifts from Keating, that she wrote to the trial judge on his behalf, begging for the understanding Jesus would show to such a generous man.In her letter to the judge, she claimed to know nothing of Mr. Keating’s business or politics. To remind her of these trifling details, the deputy district attorney replied to Mother Teresa – explaining in no uncertain terms that, in his view, Jesus himself, if confronted with a man like Keating, would have no qualms about returning the money which had been given to him as it had been given to her, by a confidence trickster of Mr. Keating’s gaul and self-righteous insistence that other people are to blame for his actions.
Dear Mother Teresa:
I am a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles County and one of the persons who worked on the prosecution of your benefactor, Charles H. Keating, Jr. I read your letter to Judge Ito, written on behalf of Mr. Keating, which includes your admission that you know nothing about Mr. Keating’s business or the criminal charges presented to Judge Ito. I am writing to you to provide a brief explanation of the crimes of which Mr. Keating has been convicted, to give you an understanding of the source of the money that Mr. Keating gave to you, and to suggest that you perform the moral and ethical act of returning the money to its rightful owners.
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’. The ‘least’ of the brethren 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 selfrighteously blaming others for his own misdeeds. Your experience is, admirably, with the poor. My experience has been with the ‘con’ man and the perpetrator of the fraud. It is not uncommon for ‘con’ men to be generous with family, friends and charities. Perhaps they believe that their generosity will purchase love, respect or forgiveness. However, the time when the purchase of ‘indulgences’ was an acceptable method of seeking forgiveness died with the Reformation. No church, no charity, no organisation should allow itself to be used as salve for the conscience of the criminal.I remind myself of the biblical admonition of the Prophet Micah: ‘0 man, what is good and what does the Lord require of you. To do justice, love mercy and walk humbly.’ We are urged to love mercy but we must do justice. 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 if he were 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.
To this day Paul W. Turley awaits a reply from Mother Teresa, as do the thousands of people Charles Keating swindled. If she is the shining light of Catholic Christian values; the torch barer of all that is moral and good, we are constantly told by the religious only those with faith in God can espouse and exude, you’ll forgive me if I don’t hold my breath while waiting for someone to effectually excuse her simple inability to read the above, understand its modest requests and act appropriately.