The Dark Side of Mother Teresa?
2013 03 08

By Lesley Ciarula Taylor | TheStar WORLD


Mother Teresa’s saintly image comes under fire in new study

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.

[...]

Read the full article at: thestar.com




AntiTheist and journalist Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) investigates whether Mother Teresa of Calcutta deserves her saintly image. He probes her campaigns against contraception and abortion and her questionable relationships with right-wing political leaders.




Related Articles
Mother Teresa was ’anything but a saint,’ new Canadian study claims


Latest News from our Front Page

Norway Joins the Race to Develop Killer Robots
2014 10 24
Norway is a large exporter of weapons, which makes the resolution of the debate about creating killer robots an important issue for everyone.  One could debate the overall merits or failings of robotic systems, but an area that clearly has become a point for concern on all sides is the emergence of "killer robots." According to robotics pioneer, David Hanson, ...
Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
More News »