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French study claims Mother Teresa wasn’t so saintly

Cheryl K. Chumley – The Washington Times – Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Even Mother Teresa was — well, no Mother Teresa? A new study published in the French-language magazine, Religieuses, argues that Mother Teresa — whose sainthood is so well established that her name actually serves as a synonym for the word saint — wasn’t really all that.
She was “anything but a saint,” the Canadian study authors found, as Newser reports. In fact, she found beauty in watching people suffer, the authors say.
The study is based on accounts of doctors who visited Mother Teresa’s so-called “homes for the dying.” The found terrible conditions, Newser reported — poor hygiene among patients, hunger, lacking medical supplies. Some patients were even denied necessary medical care, doctors said. Even Mother Teresa didn’t get care there — she went to an American hospital, Newser reported.
And the reported conditions weren’t for lack of money. Teresa’s Order of the Missionaries of Charity had hundreds of millions in donations, Newser reported.
The authors of the study allege the Vatican purposely ignored the truth of Mother Teresa’s charity. Rather, church officials helped to set the stage for her image as a saint, and even pushed through her beatification to avoid scrutiny.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/6/french-study-claims-mother-teresa-wasnt-so-saintly/#ixzz3SdtABGLy

Christopher Hitchens: The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice

In this frank and damning expose of the Teresa cult, Hitchens details the nature and limits of one woman’s mission to help the world’s poor. He probes the source of the heroic status bestowed upon an Albanian nun whose only declared wish was to serve God. He asks whether Mother Teresa’s good works answered any higher purpose than the need of the world’s privileged to see someone, somewhere, doing something for the Third World. He unmasks pseudo-miracles, questions Mother Teresa’s fitness to adjudicate on matters of sex and reproduction, and reports on a version of saintly ubiquity which affords genial relations with dictators, corrupt tycoons and convicted frauds. Is Mother Teresa merely an essential salve to the conscience of the rich West, or an expert PR machine for the Catholic Church? In its caustic iconoclasm and unsparing wit, The Missionary Position showcases the devastating effect of Hitchens’ writing at its polemical best.
Mother Teresa ‘saint of the media’, controversial study says
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Mother-Teresa-saint-of-the-media-controversial-study-says/articleshow/18760028.cms
LONDON: A study conducted by Canadian researchers has called Mother Teresa “anything but a saint”, a creation of an orchestrated and effective media campaign who was generous with her prayers but miserly with her foundation’s millions when it came to humanity’s suffering.

The controversial study, to be published this month in the journal of studies in religion/sciences called Religieuses, says that Teresa — known across the world as the apostle of the dying and the downtrodden — actually felt it was beautiful to see the poor suffer.

According to the study, the Vatican overlooked the crucial human side of Teresa — her dubious way of caring for the sick by glorifying their suffering instead of relieving it.

Instead, the Vatican went ahead with her beatification followed by canonization “to revitalize the Church and inspire the faithful especially at a time when churches are empty and the Roman authority is in decline”.

Researchers Serge Larivee and Genevieve Chenard from the University of Montreal’s department of psychoeducation, and Carole Senechal of the University of Ottawa’s faculty of education, analysed published writings about Mother Teresa and concluded that her hallowed image, “which does not stand up to analysis of the facts, was constructed, and that her beatification was orchestrated by an effective media campaign”.

According to Larivee, facts debunk Teresa’s myth. He says that the Vatican, before deciding on Teresa’s beatification, did not take into account “her rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding … abortion, contraception, and divorce.”

At the time of her death, Teresa had 517 missions or “homes for the dying” as described by doctors visiting several of these establishments in Kolkata. They welcomed the poor and sick in more than 100 countries. Two-thirds of the people coming to these missions hoped to a find a doctor to treat them, while the other third lay dying without receiving apt care.

‘Miracle of medicine’

According to the study, the doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions and a shortage of actual care, food and painkillers. They say that the problem was not a paucity of funds as the Order of the Missionaries of Charity successfully raised hundreds of millions of dollars. Researchers said that when it came to her own treatment, “she received it in a modern American hospital”.

The three researchers also dug into records of her meeting in London in 1968 with the BBC’s Malcom Muggeridge who had strong views against abortion and shared Mother Teresa’s right-wing Catholic values.

The researchers say Muggeridge had decided to promote Teresa. In 1969, he made a eulogistic film on the missionary, promoting her by attributing to her the “first photographic miracle”, when it should have been attributed to the new film stock being marketed by Kodak.

Following her death, the Vatican decided to waive the usual five-year waiting period to open the beatification process. According to the researchers, one of the miracles attributed to Mother Theresa is the healing of Monica Besra, who suffered from intense abdominal pain, after a medallion blessed by her was placed on Besra’s abdomen.

Larivee said, “Her doctors thought otherwise: the ovarian cyst and the tuberculosis from which she suffered were healed by the drugs they had given her. The Vatican, nevertheless, concluded that it was a miracle. Mother Teresa’s popularity was such that she had become untouchable for the population, which had already declared her a saint.”

Larivee however signs off on a surprisingly positive note and says there could also be a positive effect of the Mother Teresa myth. “If the extraordinary image of Mother Teresa conveyed in the collective imagination has encouraged humanitarian initiatives that are genuinely engaged with those crushed by poverty, we can only rejoice,” they signed off.

Christopher Hitchens – Mother Teresa: Hell’s Angel

Mommie Dearest
The pope beatifies Mother Teresa, a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud
By Christopher Hitchens, OCT. 20 2003 4:04 PM
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2003/10/mommie_dearest.html
I think it was Macaulay who said that the Roman Catholic Church deserved great credit for, and owed its longevity to, its ability to handle and contain fanaticism. This rather oblique compliment belongs to a more serious age. What is so striking about the “beatification” of the woman who styled herself “Mother” Teresa is the abject surrender, on the part of the church, to the forces of showbiz, superstition, and populism.
It’s the sheer tawdriness that strikes the eye first of all. It used to be that a person could not even be nominated for “beatification,” the first step to “sainthood,” until five years after his or her death. This was to guard against local or popular enthusiasm in the promotion of dubious characters. The pope nominated MT a year after her death in 1997. It also used to be that an apparatus of inquiry was set in train, including the scrutiny of an advocatus diaboli or “devil’s advocate,” to test any extraordinary claims. The pope has abolished this office and has created more instant saints than all his predecessors combined as far back as the 16th century.
As for the “miracle” that had to be attested, what can one say? Surely any respectable Catholic cringes with shame at the obviousness of the fakery. A Bengali woman named Monica Besra claims that a beam of light emerged from a picture of MT, which she happened to have in her home, and relieved her of a cancerous tumor. Her physician, Dr. Ranjan Mustafi, says that she didn’t have a cancerous tumor in the first place and that the tubercular cyst she did have was cured by a course of prescription medicine. Was he interviewed by the Vatican’s investigators? No. (As it happens, I myself was interviewed by them but only in the most perfunctory way. The procedure still does demand a show of consultation with doubters, and a show of consultation was what, in this case, it got.)
According to an uncontradicted report in the Italian paper L’Eco di Bergamo, the Vatican’s secretary of state sent a letter to senior cardinals in June, asking on behalf of the pope whether they favored making MT a saint right away. The pope’s clear intention has been to speed the process up in order to perform the ceremony in his own lifetime. The response was in the negative, according to Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, the Canadian priest who has acted as postulator or advocate for the “canonization.” But the damage, to such integrity as the process possesses, has already been done.
During the deliberations over the Second Vatican Council, under the stewardship of Pope John XXIII, MT was to the fore in opposing all suggestions of reform. What was needed, she maintained, was more work and more faith, not doctrinal revision. Her position was ultra-reactionary and fundamentalist even in orthodox Catholic terms. Believers are indeed enjoined to abhor and eschew abortion, but they are not required to affirm that abortion is “the greatest destroyer of peace,” as MT fantastically asserted to a dumbfounded audience when receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.* Believers are likewise enjoined to abhor and eschew divorce, but they are not required to insist that a ban on divorce and remarriage be a part of the state constitution, as MT demanded in a referendum in Ireland (which her side narrowly lost) in 1996. Later in that same year, she told Ladies Home Journal that she was pleased by the divorce of her friend Princess Diana, because the marriage had so obviously been an unhappy one …
This returns us to the medieval corruption of the church, which sold indulgences to the rich while preaching hellfire and continence to the poor. MT was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction. And she was a friend to the worst of the rich, taking misappropriated money from the atrocious Duvalier family in Haiti (whose rule she praised in return) and from Charles Keating of the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Where did that money, and all the other donations, go? The primitive hospice in Calcutta was as run down when she died as it always had been—she preferred California clinics when she got sick herself—and her order always refused to publish any audit. But we have her own claim that she opened 500 convents in more than a hundred countries, all bearing the name of her own order. Excuse me, but this is modesty and humility?
The rich world has a poor conscience, and many people liked to alleviate their own unease by sending money to a woman who seemed like an activist for “the poorest of the poor.” People do not like to admit that they have been gulled or conned, so a vested interest in the myth was permitted to arise, and a lazy media never bothered to ask any follow-up questions. Many volunteers who went to Calcutta came back abruptly disillusioned by the stern ideology and poverty-loving practice of the “Missionaries of Charity,” but they had no audience for their story. George Orwell’s admonition in his essay on Gandhi—that saints should always be presumed guilty until proved innocent—was drowned in a Niagara of soft-hearted, soft-headed, and uninquiring propaganda.
One of the curses of India, as of other poor countries, is the quack medicine man, who fleeces the sufferer by promises of miraculous healing. Sunday was a great day for these parasites, who saw their crummy methods endorsed by his holiness and given a more or less free ride in the international press. Forgotten were the elementary rules of logic, that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and that what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. More than that, we witnessed the elevation and consecration of extreme dogmatism, blinkered faith, and the cult of a mediocre human personality. Many more people are poor and sick because of the life of MT: Even more will be poor and sick if her example is followed. She was a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud, and a church that officially protects those who violate the innocent has given us another clear sign of where it truly stands on moral and ethical questions.
Correction, Oct. 21, 2003: This piece originally claimed that in her Nobel Peace Prize lecture, Mother Teresa called abortion and contraception the greatest threats to world peace. In that speech Mother Teresa did call abortion “the greatest destroyer of peace.” But she did not much discuss contraception, except to praise “natural” family planning.

The Dark Side of Mother Teresa
By Lesley Ciarula Taylor 2013-03-08 0:00
http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=24172
How has the saintly image of Mother Teresa managed to survive largely intact in this age of such intense media scrutiny?

Three Canadian academics tackled this thorny question in a new article in the journal Studies in Religion
“Everyone who thinks of altruism thinks immediately of Mother Teresa,” says Geneviève Chénard, explaining why she and her co-authors decided to undertake this study.
The researchers — Chénard and Serge Larivée of l’Université de Montréal and Carola Sénéchal of the University of Ottawa — examined 287 documents about the Albanian nun who died at age 87 in 1997.

Mother Teresa, who founded the Kolkata-based Missionaries of Charity, an order of nuns that has expanded to 123 countries, has been beatified by the Vatican, one step short of sainthood.

Mother Teresa with Pope John Paul II at the Home of the Dying in Calcutta, India, in February 1986.
According to the study, the unassailable image of Mother Teresa appeals to the collective imagination looking to help the dying and the poor. It feeds a need in people to have someone to look up to. For the church, it also helps promote Roman Catholic religious values.

Mother Teresa’s beatification process was also the fastest in the history of the Catholic Church, the study says.
One of the key steps in that beatification: A non-Christian woman in India woke up on the first anniversary of Mother Teresa’s death to find her abdominal tumour had disappeared. Members of the Missionaries of Charity has prayed for Mother Teresa’s help. Pope John Paul II recognized this as a miracle.

Mother Teresa, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, has been the subject of 153 hagiographies from 1948 until 2011 and only six balanced biographies, the study says. Largely unexamined have been questions about how millions in donations were spent, the hygiene and lack of care in her hospices and why the woman herself supported corrupt regimes such as the Duvaliers in Haiti.

Reality of Mother Teresa Exposed By Rajiv Dixit

http://topic.ibnlive.in.com/jayalalitha/videos/reality-of-mother-teresa-exposed-by-rajiv-dixit-49dhWxTKT7s-1961554.html

In You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49dhWxTKT7s

Exposing Mother Teresa
Hitchens’ Book A Devastating Insight

By JOHN M. SWOMLEY
ONE OF THE interesting books published in 1995 debunks the myth of Mother Teresa, who has been unjustly built into a near-saint by the media. She has been virtually untouchable as an almost sacred figure. and anyone who dares to criticize her is promptly rebuked.
The book is The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa In Theory And Practice, by Christopher Hitchens (Verso, London and New York, 1995) $12.95. Hitchens aired a documentary on her in England and has investigated her activities.
He questions her Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 because she never did anything for peace. In fact, in her acceptance speech she said, “Abortion is the worst evil, and the greatest enemy of peace… Because if a mother can kill her own child, what will prevent us from killing ourselves or one another? Nothing.”
Wherever she goes this is her constant message. In 1992 at an open air mass in Knock, Ireland, she said, “Let us promise our Lady who loves Ireland so much, that we will never allow this country a single abortion. And no contraceptives.” She obviously sees no connection between poverty and too many children.
In one interview cited in the book, she was asked, “So you wouldn’t agree with people who say there are too many children in India?” She said, “I do not agree, because God always provides. He provides for the flowers and the birds, for everything in the world He has created. And those little children are his life. There can never be enough.”
One of Mother Teresa’s volunteers in Calcutta described her “Home for the Dying” as resembling photos of concentration camps such as Belsen. No chairs, just stretcher beds. Virtually no medical care or painkillers beyond aspirin, and a refusal to take a 15-year-old boy to a hospital. Hitchens adds, “Bear in mind that Mother Teresa’s global income is more than enough to outfit several first class clinics in Bengal. The decision not to do so… is a deliberate one. The point is not the honest relief of suffering, but the promulgation of a cult based on death and suffering and subjection.”
Then Hitchens notes that Mother Teresa “has checked into some of the finest and costliest clinics and hospitals in the West during her bouts with heart trouble and old age.”
The author mentions her visit to Haiti and her endorsement of the Duvaliers, the source of much deprivation of the poor in Haiti. Also, her acceptance of stolen money from Charles Keating, “now serving a ten-year sentence for his part in the savings and loan scandal.” Keating, a “Catholic fundamentalist”, gave Mother Teresa one and a quarter million dollars and “the use of his private jet.” During the course of Keating’s trial, Mother Teresa wrote Judge Ito asking clemency and asked Ito “to do what Jesus would do.”
One of the prosecutors in the trial wrote her telling her “of 17,000 individuals from whom Mr. Keating stole $252,000,000.” He added, “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.” The prosecutor asked her to return the money, and offered to put her “in direct contact with the rightful owners of the property now in your possession.” This supposed paragon of virtue never replied to his letter.
No one knows what happens to the millions of dollars Mother Teresa receives. There is no accounting and no evidence that she has built a hospital or orphanage that reflects modern health and sanitary conditions.
Hitchens details the reactionary political activities of Mother Teresa, from aiding the Spanish right wing against the anti-Franco forces who were seeking a secular society in post-Franco Spain, to her visits to Nicaragua and Guatemala to whitewash the atrocities of the Contras and death squads.
There is much more in this book, such as letters from former workers with Mother Teresa exposing her hypocrisy. Hitchens concludes his 98-page book with reference to her fund-raising for clerical nationalists in the Balkans, her endorsement by Ralph Reed of the Christian Coalition, and her “cover for all manner of cultists and shady businessmen.” His last sentence is, “It is past time that she was subjected to the rational critique that she has evaded so arrogantly for so long.”

John M. Swomley serves American society in various capacities, a major one being a Jeffersonian advocate of separation of church and state.

From
THE HUMAN QUEST
SEPTEMBER — OCTOBER, 1996
page 19

Criticism on Mother Teresa: WIKIPEDIA
Main article: Criticism of Mother Teresa
After the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 1979, Mother Teresa’s adherence to the Church’s condemnation of abortion and contraception attracted some negative attention in the Western media. Teresa was criticised for using her celebrity status to promote the Church’s moral teachings on abortion and contraception.[11] The support, recognition, and donations she received also aroused criticism, particularly from atheists who were dismayed at what they considered to be people’s gullibility.[95]Some Bengali critics accused Mother Teresa of exploiting or even fabricating the degraded image of Calcutta to win international fame.[96] Allegations have been made that she knowingly accepted donations from disreputable sources. It was said that in one notorious case she knew or ought to have known that the money was stolen; and that she accepted money from the autocratic and corrupt Duvalier family in Haiti, which she visited in early 1981. In neither case were these aspersions substantiated, although this did not stop her critics from repeating them.[97] The increasing wealth of the order she founded became yet another grievance. On the one hand, large sums accumulated in checking (non-interest bearing) accounts in the United States, and large sums were being spent on opening new convents and increasing missionary work; on the other, her Home for the Dying continued to maintain the same austere ethos with which it had been founded, that is to say, as a place for those who had nowhere else to go – a point even hostile sources conceded.[98] She was also criticised for her view on suffering. She felt that suffering would bring people closer to Jesus.[99][100] At a press conference during her October 1981 visit to Washington D.C, Mother Teresa stated, “I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people.”[101] Critics complained that she did not apply donors’ money on founding a modern medical facility in Calcutta, or transforming her Home for the Dying into a western-style hospice. Two writers in the Western medical press in the mid-1990’s commented adversely on an approach to illness and suffering that disregarded elements of modern medical care, such as systematic diagnosis and strong analgesics.[14] Her defenders pointed out that the Home did not claim to offer primary medical care, but was a refuge for the dying, with nowhere else to go.[102] Apart from the barriers that advanced technologies and the need for specialist physicians to manage pain would interpose between carers and those they cared for (disrupting the ethos of the Home),[103] the use of opioids in India for managing cancer pain remains—ten years after Mother Teresa’s death—highly problematic for legal, regulatory, cultural, and other reasons (including supply interruptions, harsh punishments imposed for even minor infractions of the rules, and the fear of addiction by health workers).[104] Despite the lack of sophisticated analgesic regimes, volunteers (including those with western medical qualifications and experience) reported that her Home for the Dying was a place of joy not sadness.[105] As late as 2001, researchers could write that “pain relief is a new notion in [India]”, and “palliative care training has been available only since 1997”.[106] It was only in 2012 that the government of West Bengal finally amended the applicable regulations simplifying “the process of possession, transport, purchase, sale and import of inter-state of morphine or any preparation containing morphine by ‘Recognized Medical Institution’.”[107] Notwithstanding these practical considerations, the advanced treatment Mother Teresa received for an increasingly aggravated heart condition (which eventually killed her) was said to evidence her personal hypocrisy, while the factors that impelled the Missionaries of Charity to prolong her active life were ignored.[108] She herself—at an advanced age—attempted to resign as Superior general of the order, but the sisters were unanimous in re-electing her in 1990, when she was already 80 years old.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/6/french-study-claims-mother-teresa-wasnt-so-saintly/

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