New Study Hammers Mother Teresa

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.

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  • Modusoperandi

    Well, sure, it looks bad. So stop looking. Now she’s a saint again. Feel better? I sure do.

  • democommie

    Wow, selfless servant of JESUS turns out to be lying, manipulative piece-of-shit; no wonder that they beatified her ass.

  • raven

    The Catholic church does this a lot. It doesn’t take much to be a Catholic saint. You can be a killer or even a serial killer.

    1. Saint Thomas More was a serial killer of Protestant heretics.

    2. Saint Roberto Bellarmino burnt Giordano Bruno at the stake for Heliocentrism and almost torched Galileo.

    There is a Catholic college in Kentucky named after him. I assume the student body is very, very docile.

  • democommie


    A church in my hometown is named after Bellarmine, as well.

  • kevinalexander

    Roman Catholicism is all about the cultivation of human suffering.

    As a predatory species we humans have been gifted by nature to feel the most exquisite pleasure in the contemplation of the torment of our prey. It’s why there’s a squeaky in a dog toy. It sounds like a small animal being crushed to death. It’s why there’s Quentin Tarantino movies. It’s why the Church didn’t think up the birth control rule until after Thomas Malthus pointed out that unchecked births could only result in catastrophe.

    With god, you don’t have to admit it’s just garden variety sadism. Calling it mystical lets you off the hook.


    It’s the proof that god is imaginary. He conforms to the deepest emotional needs of the imaginer. In the case of the Church he fills the deepest need of the inheritors of the Colosseum and the Inquisition.

  • tbp1

    Another good Mother Teresa source is “Mother Teresa, the Final Verdict” by Aroup Chatterjee, a Calcutta-born physician. It needs a good editor (too much repetition and rehashing the same topics), but the author really did his homework, and it’s accordingly much more devastating than Hitchens’ more famous essay. You can read the first few chapters free online:

  • Félix Desrochers-Guérin

    Posted: 03/04/2013

    “New” is a relative term.

  • laurentweppe

    @ kevinalexander

    So… The Catholic church is just like Quentin Tarantino?


    Call me when they release the director’s cut of “Benedikt Unleashed”

  • kevinalexander

    So… The Catholic church is just like Quentin Tarantino?

    That is a bizarre image! I love his movies and I know why-he makes violence funny or at least righteous.

    My point was that we love violence but, being civilized we need to call it something else. Hunters don’t kill they harvest, the antiabortion people aren’t out to ruin the lives of women, they just care about the babies!, action movies are called that because calling them ‘bodies pile up’ movies would be too honest.

    My point was that the men who control the Church are motivated by the same savage urge but absolve themselves of the responsibility by making a religious fetish out of it.

  • sanford

    While I haven’t read it Hitchens wrote a pretty scathing book about Mother Teresa as well as at least one article in Vanity Fair.