A new study by Canadian scholars counters the popular myth that Mother Teresa was a selfless hero, making many of the same criticisms made by some who worked with her organizations and harsh critics like Christopher Hitchens. The Huffington Post reports:
A new study by Canadian academics says Mother Teresa was a product of hype who housed the poor and sick in shoddy conditions, despite her access to a fortune.
The Times of India, reporting on the controversial essay, wrote that the authors asserted Mother Teresa saw beauty in the downtrodden’s suffering and was far more willing to pray for them than provide practical medical care. Meanwhile, researchers say, the Vatican engaged in a PR ploy as it threw aside concerns about her suspicious financial dealings and contacts to forgo the five-year waiting period to beatify her.
One of the researchers, Serge Larivee of the University of Montreal’s department of psychoeducation, told the school’s website, “Given the parsimonious management of Mother Teresa’s works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone?”…Other researchers have criticized Mother Teresa’s efforts in the past. Mother Teresa: A Biography, written by Meg Greene and published in 2004, recounts an article by the Lancet medical journal that outlined the neglect and lack of expertise in a Calcutta facility established by Mother Teresa.
That is one of the main problems noted by Hemley Gonzalez, who went to work at one of her facilities in Calcutta and was appalled by the conditions there, including lack of medical treatment. Hemley will be speaking at the Humanism at Work conference I’m organizing in Chicago, July 18-20.