Dr Serge Larivie and Dr Genevieve Chenard who studied around 300 documents surrounding Mother Teresa’s life wrote in the Journal of Studies in Religion/Sciences say they have uncovered details that compromise the Albanian-born nun’s saintly image.
According to them many of the ‘missions’ set up by Mother Teresa during her lifetime were unfit for their inhabitants, calling them ‘homes for the dying’ due to their poor hygiene and a shortage of food, care and medication.
The researchers claim that shortage of money cannot be the reason for the poor conditions since Mother Teresa raised hundreds of millions of pounds during her lifetime, although much of that money apparently appears to have vanished into several ‘secret’ bank accounts reportedly kept by the nun.
They also questioned why, despite openly offering prayers and medallions bearing depictions of the Virgin Mary, Mother Teresa provided no direct or monetary aid to victims of a number of natural disasters in India.
Mother Teresa's political contacts also came under question. The researchers claim that she accepted financial help from the brutal Duvalier dictatorship, which is deemed responsible for the murders of over 30,000 Haitians between 1957 and 1986.
Mother Teresa is also accused of spreading hardline right wing Catholic ideology, saying she held “overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception and divorce.”
According to Dr Larivie Mother Teresa owed much of her saintly public image to the BBC
journalist Malcolm Muggeridge, who shared her conservative Catholic views, particularly on abortion, and whose promotion of her led to the nun’s international fame.
This is not the first time that Mother Teresa's saintly image has been called into question. Author and journalist, Chistopher Hitchens' 1995 book the Missionary Position
presented a broad criticism of Mother Teresa and her missionary activity.
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