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Missionary Position

March 11, 2013

Born in 1910, Mother Teresa's real name is Agnes Gonxha. She came from money at least by the standards of her native Skopje, Macedonia. Her parents were so well-off that there was a local saying "as generous as the Bojaxhius."

She became the Catholic Church’s most celebrated woman. In 1979, she won the Nobel Peace Prize and she has been named 18 times in the yearly Gallup’s most admired man and woman poll.


Hell's Angel

Pope Ratzinger who recently resigned in disgrace, beatified Mother Teresa in 2003 after attributing one miracle to her - but she still needs another miracle to be canonized and elevated to sainthood status.

Contrary to the media hype, Mother Teresa was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was "a gift from God".

She wanted the people in her care to suffer because she said it brought them closer to Jesus.


In his book, The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, Christopher Hitchens exposes Mother Teresa as a fraud. The author was never sued and his accusations were never refuted—nor even rebutted.

Wikipedia summarizes Mother Teresa's extreme love of suffering and the suffering of her “patients”, her refusal to provide adequate medical care, her association with and financial support from shady characters, and her mistreatment of her nuns.


Serge Larivée and Genevieve Chenard of University of Montreal’s Department of Psychoeducation and Carole Sénéchal of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education have written a paper exposing the myth of altruism and generosity surrounding Mother Teresa.

The paper, published in the March issue of the journal Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses, analyzes the published writings about Mother Teresa. The researchers conclude that her hallowed image—which does not stand up to the facts—was constructed, and her beatification was a media relations campaign.

The three researchers collected 502 documents on the life and work of Mother Teresa that address 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, in particular, abortion, contraception, and divorce.”


Mother Teresa was admittedly in love with suffering and simply didn’t take care of her patients, many of whom fruitlessly sought medical care...but when it came to her own needs at the time of her death, she got superior palliative care in a modern American hospital.

“At the time of her death, Mother Teresa had opened 517 missions welcoming the poor and sick in more than 100 countries. The missions have been described as “homes for the dying” by doctors visiting several of these establishments in Calcutta. 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 appropriate care. The doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food, and no painkillers. The problem is not a lack of money—the Foundation created by Mother Teresa has raised hundreds of millions of dollars—but rather a particular conception of suffering and death: “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s Passion. The world gains much from their suffering,” was her reply to criticism, cites the journalist Christopher Hitchens. Nevertheless, when Mother Teresa required palliative care, she received it in a modern American hospital.”


She was tight fisted about helping others, sequestered money donated for her work, and took money from dictators.

“Mother Teresa was generous with her prayers but rather miserly with her foundation’s millions when it came to humanity’s suffering. During numerous floods in India or following the explosion of a pesticide plant in Bhopal, she offered numerous prayers and medallions of the Virgin Mary but no direct or monetary aid. On the other hand, she had no qualms about accepting the Legion of Honour and a grant from the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti. Millions of dollars were transferred to the MCO’s various bank accounts, but most of the accounts were kept secret, Larivée says. ‘Given the parsimonious management of Mother Theresa’s works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone?’”


According to Evangelical megapastor Rick Warren, "What is not so well known were Mother Teresa's leadership skills, evident in the multiplication of what she did to other parts of the planet."

Irish rocker/philanthropist Bob Geldof called her "as deft a manipulator as any high-powered American public relations expert.”

Teresa cultivated her celebrity status through the United Nations of world leaders and donors. Four decades after her solo start in India, her order was in over 100 countries, then worldwide with the help of British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge.

After winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, she became part of a Mt. Rushmore of religious icons including Pope John Paul II, Billy Graham and the Dalai Lama that has no successor generation. Teresa attained the biggest pop-culture status, capped by her photo ops with Princess Diana. When the two died within a week of one another (Diana in a car wreck, Teresa by heart attack), a T-shirt immediately popped up showing both with halos.


She was deliberately promoted by BBC journalist Malcolm Muggeridge (a fellow anti-abortionist), and her beatification was based on phony miracles.

.” . .In 1969, [Muggeridge] made a eulogistic film of 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. Afterwards, Mother Teresa travelled throughout the world and received numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize. In her acceptance speech, on the subject of Bosnian women who were raped by Serbs and now sought abortion, she said: ‘I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing—direct murder by the mother herself.’


. . . Following her death, the Vatican decided to waive the usual five-year waiting period to open the beatification process. The miracle attributed to Mother Theresa was the healing of a woman, Monica Besra, who had been suffering from intense abdominal pain. The woman testified that she was cured after a medallion blessed by Mother Theresa was placed on her abdomen. 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. “What could be better than beatification followed by canonization of this model to revitalize the Church and inspire the faithful especially at a time when churches are empty and the Roman authority is in decline?” Larivée and his colleagues ask.”

This peer-reviewed paper written by academics is not a hatchet-job written by an atheist with strong opinions. The paper substantiates and expands upon the criticisms found in Hitchen's book.


In 2007, we learn from a book of her letters, ‘Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light-The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta’, that she doubted her own faith. These were letters to her superiors and religious confidants over a period of 66 years. She said that while she felt that she was doing God’s will, she experienced the absence of the presence of God.

Mother Teresa: A Biography, written by Meg Greene and published in 2004, recounts an article by the Lancet medical journal that outlined the neglect and lack of expertise in a Calcutta facility established by Mother Teresa.

Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha) died at age 87 in 1997. Maybe the new Pope will grant her a second miracle and elevate her to sainthood.

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