Mother Teresa was a real piece of shit. But christians all over the world believes she was righteous and saintlike. Turns out more and more evidence confirms what people like Hitchens said about her a long time ago.


From Jerry Coyne’s blog:

A new exposé of Mother Teresa shows that she—and the Vatican—were even worse than we thought

First Christopher Hitchens took her down, then we learned that her faith wasn’t as strong as we thought, and now a new study from the Université de Montréal is poised to completely destroy what shreds are left of Mother Teresa’s reputation. She was the winner of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, was beatified and is well on her way to becoming a saint, and she’s universally admired. As Wikipedia notes:

[She was] named 18 times in the yearly Gallup’s most admired man and woman poll as one of the ten women around the world that Americans admired most. In 1999, a poll of Americans ranked her first in Gallup’s List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century. In that survey, she out-polled all other volunteered answers by a wide margin, and was in first place in all major demographic categories except the very young.

The criticisms of Agnes Gonxha, as she was christened, have been growing for a long time. I wasn’t aware of them until I read Christopher Hitchens’s cleverly titled book, The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, which I found deeply disturbing. The book is polemic at Hitchens’s best, and though the facts were surprising, he was never sued and his accusations were never refuted—nor even rebutted. (You can read excerpts here and here, but I urge you to read the book.) In light of that, I accepted Mother Teresa as a deeply flawed person.

In its “criticism” section of her biography, Wikipedia summarizes the growing opprobrium related to her extreme love of suffering (that is, the suffering of her “patients”), her refusal to provide adequate medical care, her association with (and financial support from) shady characters, and her treatment of her nuns.

Now a paper is about to appear (it’s not online yet) that is apparently peer-reviewed, and that expands the list of Mother Teresa’s malfeasances.  Lest you think this is atheist hype, the summary below is from an official press release by the Université de Montréal.

The myth of altruism and generosity surrounding Mother Teresa is dispelled in a paper by 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. The paper will be published in the March issue of the journal Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses and is an analysis of the published writings about Mother Teresa. Like the journalist and author Christopher Hitchens, who is amply quoted in their analysis, the researchers conclude that her hallowed image—which does not stand up to analysis of the facts—was constructed, and that her beatification was orchestrated by an effective media relations campaign.

“While looking for documentation on the phenomenon of altruism for a seminar on ethics, one of us stumbled upon the life and work of one of Catholic Church’s most celebrated woman and now part of our collective imagination—Mother Teresa—whose real name was Agnes Gonxha,” says Professor Larivée, who led the research. “The description was so ecstatic that it piqued our curiosity and pushed us to research further.”

As a result, the three researchers collected 502 documents on the life and work of Mother Teresa. After eliminating 195 duplicates, they consulted 287 documents to conduct their analysis, representing 96% of the literature on the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity (OMC). Facts debunk the myth of Mother Teresa

In their article, Serge Larivée and his colleagues also cite a number of problems not take into account by the Vatican in Mother Teresa’s beatification process, such as “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.”

The release levels three types of accusations against mother Teresa and her supporters (quotes are direct, and I don’t mind extensive excerpting since it’s a press release):

1.  The woman was in love with suffering and simply didn’t take care of her charges, many of whom fruitlessly sought medical care.

“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.”

2. She was tightfisted about helping others, seequestered 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?’”

3. 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. [JAC: As I recall, it took only a year.] 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.”

All of these echo, substantiate, and expand the criticisms leveled by Hitchens.

But at the end of the press release, the university (and, I presume, the investigators) offer what I see as a complete sop to those who might be disheartened by the above. I quote directly:

Positive effect of the Mother Teresa myth

Despite Mother Teresa’s dubious way of caring for the sick by glorifying their suffering instead of relieving it, Serge Larivée and his colleagues point out the positive effect of the Mother Teresa myth: “If the extraordinary image of Mother Teresa conveyed in the collective imagination has encouraged humanitarian initiatives that are genuinely engaged with those crushed by poverty, we can only rejoice. 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 without being extolled by the media. Nevertheless, the media coverage of Mother Theresa could have been a little more rigorous.”

A “little more rigorous”? Now there’s an understatement!

Yes, perhaps the inspirational effect of Mother Teresa’s work is atheoretical possibility, but has it happened? Is Mother Teresa’s order now actually doing something to cure illness? What’s the evidence that she has inspired people to do something they wouldn’t have done otherwise?  Have they found the lost donations?

I will be curious (and a bit surprised) if, when the paper finally comes out, the authors actually provide some evidence that Mother Teresa has had a substantial positive effect, much less a net positive effect (don’t forget her work against abortion).  This last bit of the press release is there, I think, to stave off the inevitable criticism that will arise from Bill Donohue and other Catholic cheerleaders when such an idolized religious figure is brought down. But Catholics should be used to that!

One good thing, despite the sop, is that the faithful won’t be able to dismiss this as easily as they could the criticisms of Hitchens. (“He’s just a militant atheist who hates all religious people.”) This is a peer-reviewed paper written by academics, not a hatchet-job written by an atheist with strong opinions.

If there’s one thing that Catholics should have learned by now, it’s that their heroes often have feet of clay.  But that’s not surprising in a faith that encourages chastity, sexual repression, and authoritarianism.  In Mother Teresa it found perhaps its most bizarre flowering: a woman who actually wanted her charges to suffer because it brought them closer to Jesus.

I ran into Mother Teresa once: we were flying on the same plane, and as I disembarked from the coach section, she appeared right in front of me as she exited from the first-class section.  Not even wondering why a woman who professed humility was flying first class, I was elated and gobsmacked, feeling quite fortunate to have run into her. But I had bought into the myth, and that was well before the pushback began.

I will make the Montreal paper available when it’s finally published.


20 thoughts on “Mother Teresa was a real piece of shit. But christians all over the world believes she was righteous and saintlike. Turns out more and more evidence confirms what people like Hitchens said about her a long time ago.

  1. California lawmakers seek to end ‘personal belief’ vaccine exemptions

    LOS ANGELES Wed Feb 4, 2015 5:51pm EST

    (Reuters) – Responding to an outbreak of measles that has infected more than 100 people, two California lawmakers said on Wednesday they would introduce legislation to end the right of parents in the state to exempt their children from school vaccinations based on personal beliefs.

    California public health officials say 92 people have been diagnosed with measles in the state, many of them linked to an outbreak that they believe began when an infected person from outside the country visited Disneyland in late December.

    More than a dozen other cases have been confirmed in 19 other U.S. states and Mexico, renewing a debate over the so-called anti-vaccination movement in which fears about potential side effects of vaccines, fueled by now-debunked science, have led a small minority of parents to refuse to allow their children to be vaccinated.

    “The high number of unvaccinated students is jeopardizing public health not only in schools but in the broader community. We need to take steps to keep our schools safe and our students healthy,” state Senator Ben Allen said in a written statement announcing the legislation he is co-sponsoring with fellow Democrat Richard Pan.

    The measure would make California the 33rd state to bar parents from opting out of vaccinations based on personal beliefs.

    Also on Wednesday, a top Los Angeles County health official said that a total of 21 cases have been recorded in the county but that after the initial wave of reports, the number has fallen to four in the latest two-week period.

    “We’re getting to a number of cases that’s manageable, and I’m hopeful that within weeks or a couple of months we will be able to turn the corner on this particular outbreak,” Interim Health Officer Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser told a press conference, although he cautioned that a lag in reporting could still add a few more cases.

    A day care center at a high school in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Monica closed earlier this week and more than a dozen infants placed under a three-week quarantine after a baby enrolled in the program was diagnosed with measles.

    Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000 after decades of intensive childhood vaccine efforts. But last year the nation had its highest number of measles cases in two decades.

    Most people recover from measles within a few weeks, although it can be fatal in some cases.


      • Gerhard,
        Thank you for posting this video. I am shocked to the core. This horrific shit must be stopped immediately. These kids will become psychotic. I want to vomit from total disgust. Fucking hell, the fucking cheek of these religious cunts to think and claim that they have the right to do this to children !!!?????

        Where are the authorities??!! This must be stopped and NEVER allowed
        to happen again. Kids are easily influenced. They are still in a state of learning and copying and imitating adults around them. One can clearly see that those kids are under enormous pressure to perform for the bastards that want them to fall down and tremble and shake and they then pretend with all their strength. That will cause them to develop a severely split personality.

        FUUUUUUCCCCK !!!!! I will kill those fucking adults if I could lay my hands on them.


  2. Not all Catholic women are complete shits. This nun acted in the best interests of the patient but was excommunicated.

    Nun Excommunicated For Allowing Abortion

    Sister Margaret McBride was excommunicated after allowing an abortion to be performed on a woman who doctors say would otherwise have died.

    Last November, a 27-year-old woman was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. She was 11 weeks pregnant with her fifth child, and she was gravely ill. According to a hospital document, she had “right heart failure,” and her doctors told her that if she continued with the pregnancy, her risk of mortality was “close to 100 percent.”

    The patient, who was too ill to be moved to the operating room much less another hospital, agreed to an abortion. But there was a complication: She was at a Catholic hospital.

    “They were in quite a dilemma,” says Lisa Sowle Cahill, who teaches Catholic theology at Boston College. “There was no good way out of it. The official church position would mandate that the correct solution would be to let both the mother and the child die. I think in the practical situation that would be a very hard choice to make.”

    But the hospital felt it could proceed because of an exception — called Directive 47 in the U.S. Catholic Church’s ethical guidelines for health care providers — that allows, in some circumstance, procedures that could kill the fetus to save the mother. Sister Margaret McBride, who was an administrator at the hospital as well as its liaison to the diocese, gave her approval.


    The woman survived. When Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted heard about the abortion, he declared that McBride was automatically excommunicated — the most serious penalty the church can levy.

    “She consented in the murder of an unborn child,” says the Rev. John Ehrich, the medical ethics director for the Diocese of Phoenix. “There are some situations where the mother may in fact die along with her child. But — and this is the Catholic perspective — you can’t do evil to bring about good. The end does not justify the means.”

    Ehrich adds that under canon or church law, the nun should be expelled from her order, the Sisters of Mercy, unless the order can find an alternative penalty. Ehrich concedes that the circumstances of this case were “hard.”

    “But there are certain things that we don’t really have a choice” about, he says. “You know, if it’s been done and there’s public scandal, the bishop has to take care of that, because he has to say, ‘Look, this can’t happen.’ ”

    A Double Standard?

    But according to the Rev. Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer, the bishop “clearly had other alternatives than to declare her excommunicated.” Doyle says Olmsted could have looked at the situation, realized that the nun faced an agonizing choice and shown her some mercy. He adds that this case highlights a “gross inequity” in how the church chooses to handle scandal.

    Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted declared that McBride was automatically excommunicated because she allowed a patient at a Catholic hospital to get an abortion. But some say her quick punishment stands in stark contrast to the protection many pedophile priests have received from their bishops.

    “In the case of priests who are credibly accused and known to be guilty of sexually abusing children, they are in a sense let off the hook,” Doyle says.

    Doyle says no pedophile priests have been excommunicated. When priests have been caught, he says, their bishops have protected them, and it has taken years or decades to defrock them, if ever.

    “Yet in this instance we have a sister who was trying to save the life of a woman, and what happens to her? The bishop swoops down [and] declares her excommunicated before he even looks at all the facts of the case,” Doyle says.

    Ehrich agrees that sexual abuse can’t be tolerated. But he says neither can McBride’s actions.

    “She said, ‘Yes, you can kill that unborn child.’ That’s a heinous act. And I’m not going to make a distinction between what’s worse. They’re both abhorrent,” Ehrich says.

    Ehrich says the nun can be admitted back into the Catholic community by going to confession and repenting. McBride still works at the hospital in another position. Whether she is allowed to remain in her religious order, Erich says that is up to the Sisters of Mercy.


  3. Kokkerman, ek weet nie of jy natuur- en skeikunde op skool geneem het nie. Maas as jy wel, sal jy onthou die eksperimente wat gedoen is om sekere natuureienskappe te demonstreer. Dat hoër as atmosfeer-druk die smeltpunt van ys verlaag; dat lug “gewig” bevat; dat waterstof en suurstof verbind om water te vorm; en nog talle meer.

    Nou kan jy jouself indink dat Homo Sapiens vanaf sy evolusionêre ontstaan, so nuuskierig soos Kokkerman was. Dan was nie een van ons wat hierdie blog lees hier nie, en Homo Sapiens sou nog in grotte gebly het. Geen antibiotieka sou ontwikkel gewees het nie, geen penicillin, geen operasies sou uitgevoer kon word nie, ens., ens. Die mens se lewensduur sou seker so by die 30 – 35 jaar gewees het.

    Maar die mens was nuuskierig en het die natuurverskynsels probeer verstaan en ontleed. En met die uitvindings, het groot struikelblokke van die kerk gekom. Galileo is ingeperk omdat hy durf uitgevind het dat die Aarde om die Son beweeg en nie andersom nie. Nee, want die boek van fables het so gesê; die Son draai om die Aarde, en die boek van fables is deur die 3 gotte geskryf en moet reg wees.

    So kan ek aangaan, Kokkerman. Jy leef in ‘n wêreld wat nie bestaan nie, en jy wil ons wysmaak dat jou rasende kop die ware feite is. Nie maklik nie, Kokkerman, nie maklik nie.

    Tramp maar voort, Kokkerman, tramp maar voort. (Moet nou net nie jou speltoets vergeet nie.)


  4. Savage het jy die nuwe national geographic gesien? Daar wys hulle van die Chauvet caves waar hulle grot tekeninge gekry het wat 36 000 jaar oud is. Daai vroee Europieers was ons almal met wit velle se voorouers. Selfs Danie Kok s’n believe it or not. Jy weet ek dink min mense het ‘n begrip van hoe bitter oud net ‘n duisend jaar is.

    Vat nou byvoorbeeld. Veronderstel jy word hierdie jaar ‘n honderd of het klaar ‘n honder geword. Sou jou pa ‘n honderd gewees het die dag toe jy gebore was ( Veronderstel dit is moontlik) en sy pa ( Jou oupa) was ook honderd toe hy gebore was ( Met ander woorde ‘n geslag is ‘n honderd jaar) en jou oupa grotjie dieselfde. Dan sou dit beteken dat jou oupa grotjie se oupa grotjie se oupa grotjie ‘n duisend jaar gelede gebore was. Dit sou in die jaar 1015 wees. Dis nou as ‘n geslag 100 jaar was en dit verg tien geslagte dan om ‘n duisend jaar te maak.

    Die jaar 1015 was rondom die tyd wat Vikings Engeland binne geval het. ‘n Duisend jaar terug het Jesus ‘n duisend jaar terug op aarde geloop. Toe Jesus gebore was, was die piramides al 2000 jaar oud. Dis hoe ontsaglik oud 4000 jaar is.


    • Ja Adriaan, ‘n duisend jaar is ‘n lang tyd vir die mens. Die laaste 115 jaar het die vliegkuns ontwikkel vanaf ‘n eenvoudige prop-gedrewe tot ‘n vuurpyl wat die mens op die Maan en robotte op Mars sit. Die mens se lewensverwagting het gegroei vanaf sowat 40 jaar tot oor die sewentig. (Was Kokkerman en sy brigade in totale beheer, was (as ek dit op Aarde gemaak het) al laaaaankal dood.)

      Maar in geologiese tyd is ‘n duisend jaar niks. Die Aarde self is 4.5 biljoen jaar oud. Ook evolusie neem tien duisende (selfshonderd duisende) jare om plaas te vind vir spesiasie. Maar Kokkerman se aarde is slegs 6000 jaar oud. Hy stel die aapspesie, van wie hy kom, in die verleentheid. Ek sit in die laat middae en vroeg oggende ‘n klomp blou apies en dophou. Ek sweer hulle is slimmer as Kokkerman. Die een blou apie is uit die trop geskop (hy het seker met die ander ouens se vrouens gesukkel (hy het die grootse paar blou balle wat ek nog aan ‘n aap gesien het – so hy was seker baie aktief onder die vroutjies) en wat doen hy toe. Hy maak toe pêls met my kat hier in die bos. Die twee is nou groot vriende – dit kos my net om aapkind nou ook te voer.


  5. Haha so dis beter om vir 70 jaar op aarde te safver as net 40 jaar, want in die ego gedrewe wêreld glo mense dat “eendag sal dinge reg kom”, more gaan beter wees as vandag, die goeie dinge lê in die toekoms, oor 10 minute of ‘n uur of ‘n jaar altyd daar in die toekoms. . . . . dis tipies ego gedrewe gedagtes en hou al vir ewig so aan. (Daai grootbek hippie wat sing “I can get no satisfaction” is ego gedrewe gedagtegange en hy was eerlik omtrent sy toestand, maar dis waar hy vasgehaak het “the edge the edge”)

    So julle 2 wyse manne wat is TYD nou weer? Kan julle bewys dat tyd bestaan. . . .?


  6. Ek wil ‘n vraag vra vir julle – As mens Tanzanie toe travel, moet mens malaria medikasie vat? Ek lees dat areas hoer as 1800m malaria vry is. Arusha in Tanzanie spesifiek wil ek weet.


    • Liewers nie n kans vat nie Adriaan. Lyk of daar n moontlikheid kan wees….;_ylt=A0LEVjH1hPhUufUAYM8PxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTB0N25ndmVnBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1lIUzAwNF8x?p=malaria+areas+in+africa&–D51z1O6dzpRd0dUGeAO5oCXPhdws80VTU_Q4L9f1Ugq6yJQjbT9iA2VUTJagI6isARRIACAu6ubLe_Johq32A-mxsurAlEZa4EwJ5Zih3ispvVJOglIyh5qVnHJuXWUlcGM5r0rnBDgpK4bLS6FqwxxJe8_TkYxBd4GctCigkIUiy2MIfpg-mq3_fHerd9M0ZtxkrMOv_xm9Ce2uMKdt0R56TI1YF9Fef8TxKePdDCvj7gIsY-UPDEzwOMeedz54tL15NGGfMv5pHyccUkaDu9xuRDeBRt8P6PfzrDeDjhPbeWLGpFr8k1JYuMK2EzY984SRixiiQMlNWCmWsQ3ls2FABUKrMeCNkLMBNLb5gPVjwIYuJMi


  7. Hey! Hey! Hey! Mense, more speel die Stormers teen die Chiefs. Wonder of daar ‘n fight gaan uitbreek? Ou Sonny Bill is daar. Bokser op ‘n rugby veld. Gaan interresant wees.


    • Ja, hoop die Stormers wen. Het SBW en daardie Cooper ou van Australie op keer teen mekaar geboks nie?

      Ek hoop egter die Cheetahs wen ook…


  8. Nee Gerhard. Sonny Bill het teen Francois Botha van Suid – Afrika geboks. Quade het ‘n separate fight gefight. Sonny is baie meer van ‘n accomplished bokser. Hy het al baie fights gefight. Die ouens is alhoewel nie bang vir hom nie.
    Ek weet van ‘n paar okasies waar Sonny baklei het met ander spelers op die veld. En hulle het nie vir hom teruggestaan nie. Een van die games was teen die Highlanders, Chiefs teen die Highlanders. Die ander een was die All blacks teen Ierland en dan was daar nog ‘n paar games met rugby league ook. Ek weet dat Salesi Maafu het vir Quade Cooper in die mond geslaan toe die Reds teen die Brumbies gespeel het.


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