Mother Teresa 'Anything but a Saint,' Says Study
It says she glorified suffering instead of easing it
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Mar 6, 2013 10:04 AM CST
Updated Mar 10, 2013 4:00 PM CDT
Nuns of Missionaries of Charity sing a hymn as a portrait of Mother Teresa hangs from a balcony during a congregation to mark her death anniversary in Kolkata, India, Sept. 5, 2011.   (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

(Newser) – Was Mother Teresa overhyped? That's what a controversial Canadian study is alleging. The paper, published in the French-language religious journal Religieuses, argues that Teresa was "anything but a saint," and even found beauty in watching people suffer, the Times of India reports. Doctors who visited some of Teresa's "homes for the dying" reported terrible conditions, saying they were bereft of hygiene and exhibited a paucity of food, painkillers, and actual medical treatment, the study alleges. Those conditions weren't for lack of resources, because Teresa's Order of the Missionaries of Charity raised hundreds of millions of dollars. Teresa got her own care from a modern American hospital.

The paper argues that the Vatican deliberately crafted Teresa's saintly image and rushed her beatification—she's credited with a miraculous healing that doctors say was a result of simple medicine. The authors add that Teresa undoubtedly inspired countless humanitarian workers to help the underprivileged; they just wish the media coverage about her was "a little more rigorous." But while the study is sure to be controversial, the Week points out that the late Christopher Hitchens had lodged similar complaints, and Keith Wagstaff writes that it probably won't do serious damage to her legacy. (Click to read about the 19th-century nun who healed a Colorado Springs boy in 1999.)

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Showing 3 of 222 comments
Apr 16, 2013 3:38 PM CDT
Well, I don't know...and more importantly....I don't care about the allegations or the opinions of those in the religious sect on this matter. I can speak as a matter of fact, that both my mother and I worked at the same hospital (Scripps in LaJolla, California) during the time that Mother Teresa was treated. I was one of her nurses and my mother performed her EKG. She was pleasant, but handed out rope necklaces with fabric picture faces of Jesus at every turn. She had a backpack full of them. At one point she offered me a third one, forgetting she had offered me one before. She had the freaking BEST care available to anyone. (Even better than our own Dr's and nurses had on their insurance plan). She had a private suite (yes, suite....two rooms, one for her and one for her assistant) that overlooked the Pacific. The woman lacked for nothing and seemed to play on her "fame". Confirmation for me was seeing her send her food back to the hospital kitchen and bring in an outside chef to cook for her. Sorry....but I saw these things and can attest to them. The other speculations in the article....sadly....seem believable.
Apr 12, 2013 5:22 PM CDT
Mother Teresa's Anyway Poem People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;It was never between you and them anyway.
Mar 11, 2013 10:49 AM CDT
For all of those attacking Catholicism, Islam, or Judiasm in the posts below, I'd like to note that ALL THREE are Abrahamic religions and it would be worth your while to take some time read his wikipedia article: