Mother Teresa Was No Humanitarian

Hitchens Mother TeresaIt’s amazing to me how many people hold up Mother Teresa as a saintly woman and example of all of the good, humanitarian works that Catholics would like to believe that their Church can do.  Now I’ve said for years that she was a monster who hid under a shawl of false piety.  I’ve been called every name in the book by Catholics who sought to protect her image and their own incomplete memories of the woman she was, or at least the woman they wanted her to be.

However, now the whole story is coming out and people are realizing what an evil, awful woman she actually was, who didn’t really care for the poor, in fact, she thought their suffering was justified and she did what she  could to prolong it, she was a fraud of the highest order, who used her supposed work to gather millions of dollars from gullible donors

A new Canadian study out of  the Universities of Ottawa and Montreal shows that Mother Teresa was really just a master of hype who let her poor and infirm charges suffer in squalid poverty while she had access to a fortune.  Mother Teresa, in her long and ultimately awful career, held an uncountable number of fundraisers in countries around the world, begging for money to care for the poor in India.  However, for all the millions she raised, that money never went to care for the sick and dying, who were often left to whither away on the hard ground, starving and in pain, but entirely lacking in medical relief.  She did not believe in stopping the suffering of the dying, in fact, she thought it was good for them.

Doctors who visited many of the 517 centers founded by Mother Teresa called them “homes for the dying”.   They were filthy, staffed by untrained and uneducated nuns who had no clue how to care for their many patients and without the concern to do anything substantive to help.  Doctors saw a significant lack of hygiene, lack of proper medical care and a singular absence of painkillers.  It was designed this way.  According to Mother Teresa, “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.”  Of course, whenever she needed medical treatment, she had access to the best doctors on the planet, her own suffering didn’t provide the world with any beauty.  She was a complete hypocrite.

Worse, she gathered hundreds of millions of dollars in donations, some from morally questionable sources, such as the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti, but she never donated so much as a dime to any of the disasters that befell India during her stay.  There were horrible floods, outbreaks of disease and the chemical plant explosion in Bhopal that killed nearly 20,000 people.  She prayed, to be sure, but she never cracked open her checkbook.  Where did the money go?  Who knows, most of the accounts of her charitable organization, the Order of the Missionaries of Charity are secret.  I’m sure it was funneled quietly back into the Vatican coffers.  After all, the Popes need more golden scepters and expensive clothing.

Of course, this study isn’t the first to criticize Mother Teresa and her staff for cruelty.   Years ago, Christopher Hitchens wrote a book called The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice in which he detailed her acts of neglect and cruelty to the most innocent of children, children for whom she had specifically raised money, yet never saw a dime.  Here’s a taste:

“I have always thought very highly of Mother Theresa, until a few years ago, when I visited one of her clinics on a medical trip. It was a nursery, filled to the brim with pathetic crying babies, or those too scrawny and weak to even move. Many of them lay in urine soaked beds. I started to cry at the sight of their misery, it was just so appalling, and mind you, this is not the first time I have seen sick babies or dire poverty.But what was most shocking was when one of the doctors in my group asked where the money had gone. She apparently had been here last year, and she and others raised $25,000 for this particular nursery–they had sent the money a few months before we arrived to buy cribs, diapers, formula and medicine. The nursery was exactly the same now as it had been a year ago.The sister in charge said something to the effect that they had to give the money to the main MC office–or something like that. They never saw a penny of it. One of the babies died during our visit–of starvation. He could have been saved very easily.

My doubts began at that time, and I read more about Mother Theresa, how her nuns were spreading AIDS and hepatitis by using unclean needles in their clinics. You can buy bleach to sterilize needles for just a few pennies, but yet, they didn’t even have that. Where then, does the millions go that is donated to this woman and her charity?

If she believes that suffering is so holy, then one would think she would have wanted to be treated when she got sick, the same way that the poor are treated. But instead, Mother Theresa got top notch care. I guess when one is on the fast track to sainthood, they don’t have to do their penance and suffering like the rest of us.

I don’t think that she was an evil woman, and maybe she meant to do well at one time. But keeping medical care and food away from the hungry and sick is a crime. She became known for caring for the dying because that’s what people did best in her clinic–die. True, many of them lived on the street, and she did offer than food and shelter. However, why allow someone to die when you have the means to save them?

I would like to know where all of the money that Mother Theresa got in donations has gone to. If she is a true Christian, she would have returned the donation made by Keating back to its rightful owners, the people he stole it from. But she didn’t. She never even acknowledged it, only pleaded for clemency for the criminal who robbed 17,000 people of their life savings. One truly has to wonder about the “Christian” mind of such a person.”

Of course, after her death, the Vatican rushed to make her a saint, ignoring the usual 5-year waiting period.  To become a saint, according to Catholic lore, you have to have performed a miracle and the one they chose for her was the healing of a young woman, Monica Besra, who was suffering from an ovarian cyst. According to the story, Mother Teresa placed a medallion on the woman’s stomach and she was healed.  Unfortunately, her doctors, who had been treating the woman, are pretty sure it was the medicines they were giving her that did the trick.  Regardless, Rome didn’t care and she was so popular with the Catholic populace that she was already a saint in their eyes.  This was clearly an attempt to elevate a well-known and well-loved woman and hopefully herd some of the faithful back into the largely empty churches.

However, in the end, some good did come from it.  In light of Mother Teresa’s tremendous popularity, many people were driven into humanitarian efforts worldwide, yet these people, unlike their idol, actually cared about the suffering of the poor and the care of the sick.  They went for the right reasons and have done much good in the world.  Unfortunately, nothing can truly make up for the horrors that Mother Teresa visited upon the sick and dying in poverty-stricken countries or the tens of thousands of people, perhaps more, who died as a direct result of her incompetence and disinterest in helping her fellow man.  As with most religious icons, she never got the serious and rigorous investigation that she deserved at a time when it could have done the most good, religion and the religious practitioners simply got an automatic pass and because of that, untold suffering occurred.

For her entire life, her misuse of funds, her delight in the suffering of others, she really deserves one of the deepest pits in the hell of the Religious Horror Show.

26 thoughts on “Mother Teresa Was No Humanitarian

  1. The first I heard about the real mother theresa was on an episode of bullshit (the penn and teller show). It's pretty shocking the difference between the public perception of her and the reality behind it. That's some pretty intense PR.

    BTW, I think your quote is messed up a little bit. It is supposed to be from a hitchens book, but the last paragraph says "Hitchens is on to something". I'm guessing the quote is supposed to end one paragraph earlier or something. Or maybe the book is cowritten and that part is by someone else?

    My recent post Genesis 28: Jacob Overinterprets a Dream

    1. Honestly, I'd have to go back and look at the place I pulled the original quote from, I suspect you're right and I just grabbed more than I intended to. I'll just cut the last paragraph to avoid any confusion, thanks for pointing it out.

  2. Trough my years of agnosticism i usually – and regretfully – turn a blind eye to everything religious. I just didn't care unless was something truly bigoted on display. And that normally was some atrocity in the muslim world, some pockets of savagery in Africa motivated by religion or attacks to sexual minorities en general. The usual, headlines grabbing stuff. So, the phenomenon of mother Teresa flew right over my head and I never look into it in any detail when events were in motion. However, when I took the shift to atheism and being anti theist, a couple years back, I read Hitchens expose and saw the documentary made from it. I was appalled to say the least. Truly a despicable hypocrite this woman turn out to be and the church tactics to make a holy icon out of her just reeks dishonesty. Appalling. As i said to some friends on one occasion regarding this woman and her acts: there are some charities that are not worth having…

    1. Um, there is no lord, good or otherwise and I don't need any forgiveness. Mother Teresa was a cruel, heartless bitch, it's too bad she was allowed to visit so much evil on the world in the guise of religion.

    2. she was a bitch, not innocent. If just the "people of God", would dare to admit it.

      And i don care what "Jesus said".

      Jesus was all for slavery, so he was a heartless bitch to you know…

    1. Whether she knew what she was doing or not, the result was the same. A lot of money straight into tho Vatican coffers and a lot of people dying a horrible death, people she was supposed to be helping. That's inexcusable.

  3. Its amazing how much energy people spend judging other people's job. It would be nice to see if those who judge had done more than those judged!! __

    1. We haven't extorted money for people, then provided abhorrent conditions that would have been better if the people had just been left alone to suffer. Therefore, we're all better than Mother Teresa.


  4. The first I heard about the real mother theresa was on an episode of bullshit (the penn and teller show). It's pretty shocking the difference between the public perception of her and the reality behind it. That's some pretty intense PR.

  5. I am a christian and I just do not understand how most so called evangelicals or christians can not see how evil how hipocrite and thief and satanic this so called "mother teresa was, she was a deceiver why dont you open your eyes and admit that is the truth we do not have to be afraid of the truth, I am christian for 23 years now and the Lord Jesus is my Saviour He is everithing to me.

  6. I can't believe any of you actually believe this-one of the most dedicated and humble women in the world and you're making up false reasons to exploit her? This is completely false and I suggest you get your facts straight. By what you're saying, she was a "master of hype." That's a pretty bold statement to make, considering she joined the religious life at age 12. In case you weren't aware, that meant leaving her nobility and every single penny of her riches behind-things that she willingly would never even see again. Secondly, the "houses for the dying" were the patients that she carried off of the streets into the only home she could afford to give them. She worked solely off of donations that the greedy public (like yourself) didn't want to give her. Lastly, Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Teresa because they had been good friends and he had seen her miracles when she was living FIRST HAND. He didn't have to wait for her to be deceased to look for heavenly signs. I mean, I'm sure you being a blogger and everything have given up everything you had and go out on a regular basis to feed the dying in the streets, as well, right? I'm sure you do…

    Next time you want to accuse a world renowned social reformed and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, check your sources and your facts.

    1. Actually, we have our facts straight, it's the mindlessly faithful, who believe the mythology but don't actually look into it, that have problems. You might want to read the book by Christopher Hitches called The Missionary Position that goes into a lot of detail on Mother Teresa and why she isn't the saint that people want to believe. Facts matter, faith does not.

  7. Walk two steps in another man’s shoes before you judge. How much hatred you radiate towards her and towards faith? It breaks my heart. Why? Why would you want to hate someone so much?

    1. This, coming from a religious tradition that thinks that all non-believers are going to roast forever in eternal hellfire. Sure, go ahead and talk about hatred.

  8. Wow, so many Bible thumpers defending somebody just because they were catholic and spewed a few pseudoinspirational quotes.
    Makes me want to puke.

    1. Same here. Either Mother Teresa was a moral person or she was not. I think I made a good case that she was not. Whether or not she followed her religious beliefs is largely irrelevant, she was an inhuman monster that used religion as justification to keep people suffering. But the people who really love the religion can't bear to see it any other way, that's why there are so many people who show up and throw insults, rather than stick around and have an intellectual discussion. Religion doesn't support that kind of rational discourse.

      1. You may note that none of your challenges to the Theologically Outraged have been answered. But then, if you can believe that a ray of light from Mother Teresa's picture can cure cancer, facts clearly don't mean shit to you.

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