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The Phoenix Atheists Meetup Group Message Board General Discussion Forum › Seems some are seeing what Christopher Hitchens saw about Mother Teresa

Seems some are seeing what Christopher Hitchens saw about Mother Teresa

Steve
user 9110891
Surprise, AZ
Post #: 22
Was Mother Teresa actually sort of a jerk?
By Keith Wagstaff | The Week

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.
View this article on TheWeek.com
Bill
Solitary
Phoenix, AZ
Post #: 21
Mother Teresa has been criticized for failing to provide medical care or pain killers because she felt that suffering would bring people closer to Jesus, for misusing charitable monies, and for maintaining positive relationships with dictators.

She has also been criticised for her view on suffering. She felt that suffering would bring people closer to Jesus. President of Rationalist International, criticised the failure to give painkillers, writing that in her Homes for the Dying, one could "hear the screams of people having maggots tweezered from their open wounds without pain relief. On principle, strong painkillers were not administered even in severe cases. According to Mother Teresa's philosophy, it is 'the most beautiful gift for a person that he can participate in the sufferings of Christ'."

The quality of care offered to terminally ill patients in the Homes for the Dying has been criticised in the medical press. The Lancet and the British Medical Journal reported the reuse of hypodermic needles, poor living conditions, including the use of cold baths for all patients, and an approach to illness and suffering that precluded the use of many elements of modern medical care, such as systematic diagnosis. Dr. Robin Fox, editor of The Lancet, described the medical care as "haphazard", as volunteers without medical knowledge had to make decisions about patient care, because of the lack of doctors.

He observed that her order did not distinguish between curable and incurable patients, so that people who could otherwise survive would be at risk of dying from infections and lack of treatment. Dr. Fox makes it a point to contrast the term "hospice", on the one hand, with what he calls "Mother Teresa's Care for the Dying" on the other hand; noting that, while hospice emphasises minimising suffering with professional medical care and attention to expressed needs and wishes of the patient, her approach does no

Colette Livermore, a former Missionary of Charity, describes her reasons for leaving the order in her book Hope Endures: Leaving Mother Teresa, Losing Faith, and Searching for Meaning. Livermore found what she called Mother Teresa's "theology of suffering" to be flawed, despite being a good and courageous person. Though Mother Teresa instructed her followers on the importance of spreading the Gospel through actions rather than theological lessons, Livermore could not reconcile this with some of the practices of the organization.

Examples she gives include unnecessarily refusing to help the needy when they approached the sisters at the wrong time according to the prescribed schedule, discouraging sisters from seeking medical training to deal with the illnesses they encountered (with the justification that God empowers the weak and ignorant), and imposition of "unjust" punishments, such as being transferred away from friends. Livermore says that the Missionaries of Charity "infantilized" its sisters by prohibiting the reading of secular books and newspapers, and emphasizing obedience over independent thinking and problem-solving.

Hitchens and Stern have said Mother Teresa did not focus donated money on alleviating poverty or improving the conditions of her hospices, but on opening new convents and increasing missionary work. Mother Teresa accepted donations from the autocratic and corrupt Duvalier family in Haiti and openly praised them. She accepted $1.25 million from Charles Keating, involved in the fraud and corruption scheme known as the Keating Five scandal and supported him before and after his arrest. The Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles, Paul Turley, wrote to Mother Teresa asking her to return the donated money to the people Keating had stolen from, one of whom was "a poor carpenter". The donated money was not accounted for, and Turley did not receive a reply.

This is the same Charles Keating that was the biggest crook Arizona had at the time and was with McCain in the Keating Five, and who was pardoned by President Clinton, whom I will never foregive for that, even if he was a Democrat.

Mother Teresa didn't do what she did for altruistic reasons, but the selfish reason of being able to go to heaven if she placated and was accepted by God. She said suffering was a good thing. How would like to have her as a nurse? She was more than a jerk, she was a sadomasochistic monster that loved to see suffering and be in pain herself so she could go to heaven, or maybe even hell. Solitary AKA Bill

Steve
user 9110891
Surprise, AZ
Post #: 23
Wow, awesome sharing Bill. I have read a few Mother Teresa books and there is some good in it, some principles about helping others, sacrifice, charity, etc that I find useful and inspiring. However, I see and agree with every one of your points. I think and feel she did some good, and helped some people, and did try to follow her calling and act like how she thought Jesus acted. However, the amount of bad she did seems to outweigh her good. And yes, so much suffering she did not help to alleviate, but only strengthened. She also had her own doubts and dark nights I read, and felt Jesus abandoned her. Hitchens and the others who questioned her and wrote about her had every right to and more should have been done. She shouldnt have been accepted all of these years as a saint and promoted as doing so much good for the poor, when the truth is she had her own agenda and created a lot of suffering too in the process.
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Founded Feb 23, 2003

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