Copyrighting Of Mother Teresa’s Sari Draws Ire Of Cardinal


One of the Vatican’s top cardinals is not best pleased after a group of nuns copyrighted the white and blue sari famously worn by Mother Teresa.

“Holy Mother Teresa of Calcutta is a universal symbol, beloved by believers [and] unbelievers,” said Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, 85, a former-prefect of the Vatican-based Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

“It is absurd that taxes will now have to be paid on her sari. It’s the first time I have heard anything like it,” the online version Italian weekly Panorama quoted him as saying.

It means whoever uses images of the sari in films, books or other forms will have to pay a fee.

India’s trademarks registry reportedly recognized the sari as an Intellectual Property of the Missionaries of Charity on the day the revered nun became a saint in September last year.

“It certainly does not honor the saint’s memory,” Cardinal Martins said.

According to Panorama the copyright move has angered many Vatican officials.

The white sari, worn by the Missionaries of Charity nuns, is supposed to be a symbol of purity, while the three blue borders represent poverty, chastity and obedience.

UCA News

The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News, UCAN) is the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia. A network of journalists and editors that spans East, South and Southeast Asia, UCA News has for four decades aimed to provide the most accurate and up-to-date news, feature, commentary and analysis, and multimedia content on social, political and religious developments that relate or are of interest to the Catholic Church in Asia.

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