A new study claims the beloved nun might not have been as helpful to the poor as she could have been.
It's highly likely that one day, the Catholic Church will officially recognize Mother Teresa as a saint, a position she's held in the popular imagination for years. A new study in the religious studies journal Religieuses, however, says that the late Mother Teresa's reputation is mostly hype — a result of a church declining in popularity trying to boost its image.
Mother Teresa's biggest supposed sin? According to the Times of India, it was "her dubious way of caring for the sick by glorifying their suffering instead of relieving it."
How did researchers reach this controversial conclusion? The team of Canadian researchers studied nearly 300 documents, and discovered reports of poor hygiene standards and a shortage of medicine, supplies, and care in Mother Teresa's 517 "homes for the dying" — although not for lack of cash. According to the report, her organization, the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, received hundreds of millions of dollars in donations.
Of course, this isn't news to fans of Christopher Hitchens, the erudite atheist who made it his mission to battle religious dogma before he died in 2011. He even wrote a book on the topic called, crudely enough, The Missionary Position:
"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, and indeed to run instead a haphazard and cranky institution which would expose itself to litigation and protest were it run by any branch of the medical profession, 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 subjugation." [Salon]
The contentious report also says the Vatican rushed Teresa's sainthood push for publicity's sake, noting that Catholic officials fast-tracked her beatification and ignored evidence that refuted her "miracles."
Despite the study's inflammatory findings, researchers claim they aren't out to smear Mother Teresa, writing that it is "likely that she has inspired many humanitarian workers whose actions have truly relieved the suffering of the destitute and addressed the causes of poverty and isolation." They did say, however, that "the media coverage of Mother Teresa could have been a little more rigorous."
In the end, this study will probably do very little to hurt Mother Teresa's legacy. She was so popular that nearly 250,000 people flocked to Rome in 2003 to attend her beatification. For her biographer Navin Chawla and countless others, her belief that "each individual was a divine manifestation, each to be comforted, held, rescued, fed and not allowed to die alone" was enough to make up for any other faults.
I saw this article and found it extremely offensive. Just the title, itself, is offensive. Nothing like attacking a person (who is dead now and can't defend herself) who tried to only do good her entire life. This woman gave up her life to help the poorest of the poor and lived with them. She accepted the "unacceptable", the "untouchables" that society wanted nothing to do with, those who were not only poor but infected with AIDS, leprosy and other diseases that ostracized them from most people. She touched them, hugged them, gave them love and acceptance and rest. these people had lived on the street, starving, cold and unwanted. She gave them a place to lay their heads, a bed, food and the most important thing of all, love and kindness. She did what others did not and would not do. And she brought more awareness to the poverty there through her work.
I don't know where all the money went but attacking this woman isn't the place to start looking, in my opinion. Maybe they need to check into the church more, I don't know. But it's obvious she didn't have any money, herself. It's not like she had a mansion, private jet or even secret money stashed away to do what with? Take with her to Heaven?
I'm not Catholic but I've always admired Mother Teresa and the work she did and love she showed. We need more people like her in this world. I'm sure she did much more to help the poor than this jerk who wrote this article. Yes, I called him a jerk. I think he's the jerk here for tearing apart a good person who only tried to do good. I find this article disgusting.
I don't get it, either. I don't think Jesus was portrayed as a jerk. He was a bit of a rebel for that time period, however, which did irk a lot of the religious leaders at the time, because he allowed women to be among his followers (something that was unheard of then) and even spoke to them as an equal. He also had harsh words for the Pharisees for that time because they acted pious and righteous but it was only for show. They had no compassion or love in their hearts for the poor, etc., which was very important to God. He mentions many times in the bible to help the poor and orphans and this is what Mother Teresa did so I'm sure God is well pleased with her.
As a born again Christian I dont find anything tongue in cheek about it. Sorry. I dont post my religious beliefs on here but I wouldn't call anyones "god" a jerk for any reason - even if I didn't believe in them...just not tongue in cheeck to me at all.
Gotta step up into your man psyche today. Leave that 12 year old behind when you speak of religion.
Regarding the article, I too was put out. Where do they think she was funneling all that money? Perhaps the Dior she wore beneath her robes? Terrorist organizations?
Hygiene for the masses in impoverished India is a losing battle. Most of the ill die in the streets in their own feces, so if her institutions were not exactly what we would consider tolerable, I think it is to be forgiven.
The message of "glorifying their suffering" in my opinion is off base. What she was doing was *humanizing* them by holding them up as suffering human beings.
Ideally she held them as a mirror to us..to make us see out own human connection to them. We are no different than them, being children of G-d.
If she had billions, she would not have been able to help everyone according to Western standards.
I dont argue for the sake or arguing I just dont agree it's ok to put the Son of God down. As much tongue and cheek as you want to make it sound like you are being it was just rude and disrespectful. That is all.
Hitler is another story. Same Mother Theresa if you feel like it. They were people.
El said it tongue and cheek but if you were a Jewish leader at the time or a Roman I bet you thought Jesus was a "jerk".
EL no worries as a Christian also I take no offense at what you said, people have said much worse about him.
As for the people "offended" by El's joke, Jesus is a big boy, he can take whatever you throw at him. Peter denied him 3 times but Jesus still loved him. We are to follow his word and spread his word, don't worry about what people have to say about him joking or not. Mark 3:20-30
nygirl-I think if most Christians were Republicans then no Dem would ever get elected.
Most christians are republicans Vance. That is why the right courts them so much. Born Again or Evangelical Christians is what I mean. Nothing personal meant by that it's just the truth. I think everyone is aware of that.
Okay. Well I think they need to leave Mother Teresa alone. Her life is her testimony and no one can tear that down. So they may as well give it up trying.
Jesus? Well, he certainly was no wimp was he? He is a loving god, a just and angry god, and is known to get his vengence for his people from time to time and lets not forget that that cross was not lightweight. And lets not forget it was those religious pharisees that nailed em to it.
For me, I separate the faithful from the religious. Mother Teresa was a faithful trying to survive in a world of the religious. Some of our politicians should sit up and take notice of the difference maybe?
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