News America Syndicate, which distributes a column based on excerpts from the writings of Pope John Paul II, said it will donate all royalties from the papal essays to Mother Teresa, the Roman Catholic nun who operates a shelter for the homeless in Calcutta, India.
The Irvine-based company, which distributes comics, editorial cartoons, advice columns and editorial page essays to newspapers around the world, said it has collected about $53,000 thus far in royalties from the papal column, which it began distributing in September, 1985. Royalties are the fees normally paid to a writer. News America also collects a syndication fee for the column.
All future royalties from the papal essays column will be donated to Mother Teresa on a monthly basis, said Richard Newcombe, president and chief executive of the syndicate.
The column, which is published in about 200 newspapers, got off to a rocky start when it was denounced by the Vatican last fall. News America officials, who have since obtained Vatican permission for the Pope's writings to be excerpted, said the original agents for the column did not have proper clearance before they awarded distribution rights to the column to News America.
News America Syndicate is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who publishes newspapers and magazines in the United States, Europe and Australia.