A Dubious Saint

Many of you are no doubt aware that the woman known in her life as Mother Teresa has been canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church.  The process of canonization is filled with woo — of course, what else could it be — requiring “proof” of at least two miracles.  But this is not what concerns me at present.  The credulity of believing in “miracles” is matched by the credulity of an uncrtical public.  Among probably the majority of Westerners, Mother Teresa is uncritically accepted as a kind and compassionate person.  But this was not the case.

While he was alive, Christopher Hitchens delved into the life and actions of the supposed saint.  His findings were compiled in his well – known (and infamous to Catholics) Missionary Position.  Hitchens’s findings have since been verified by scholars.  Rather than give a litany of them, here is a link to an interview with HItchens conducted by “Free Inquiry” magazine.

Hitchens on Mother Teresa



4 thoughts on “A Dubious Saint

  1. I was surprised to discover that Carolyn was taken in by the myth of the creepy nun and therefore she had been very kind and helpful to the poor. I suggested she do a google search for critical looks at Teresa’s “good works” and that cured her quickly. Her horrible legacy is fully documented. Most people it appears never bother to look.

  2. Hitchens placed quite a spotlight on her. After reading your post, I watched the video of his BBC show about her on YouTube to remind myself about his objections. With so much hypocrisy, injustice and religion-fueled idiocy in the world I was wondering why she was such a particular target for him. It seems like, to Hitchens, she was the star member of a religious charlatan club that includes people like Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Bakker and so many others. But she, unlike them, was a figure known and respected all over the world…despite the almost complete lack of knowledge most admirers had of her real activities. She was and is held up as a supreme moral example–a paragon of charity and goodness who devoted her life to “helping” the poor. But the millions of dollars she raised through her PR efforts were apparently mainly used simply to establish more Catholic outposts around the world where she could promote her narrow worldview. A worldview that encourages the poor and dying to embrace their suffering as a holy act…fails to address the underlying causes of poverty and despair…oppresses women (including by prohibiting the use of birth control)…and gives her tacit approval to immoral political leaders willing to find her exploits. Hitchens appears to have truly hated her.

  3. Oops…that last part was supposed to say “fund her exploits.” I need to figure out why I can’t edit my own posts anymore. In the meantime, will proofread better!

  4. Teresa is often held up as a paragon of virtue and an example of a superlative moral being. This is accepted uncritically by enormous numbers of people. But her opposition to palliative care for the dying is enough to put her in my rogue’s galary. If she wanted to suffer herself, that was up to her, but to impose that on others is appalling. I can see why Hitchen’s despised her.

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