Rational Thoughts: As a study has concluded, Mother Teresa was no saint

The recent canonization of Mother Teresa leaves many of us wondering how a person with such a dubious record of helping the poor could possibly be considered a saint.

A 2013 study by the research team of Serge Larivée of the department of psychoeducation at the University of Montreal and colleague Geneviève Chénard, along with Carole Sénéchal of the University of Ottawa's faculty of education found Teresa's methods were at best cruel and degrading to those she was supposedly helping, rather than kind and loving.

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She took in millions in donations from such human-rights advocates as dictator Papa Doc Duvalier of Haiti, among others.

Rather than easing the suffering of those she supposedly cared for, Teresa revelled in it.

"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, according to the late journalist Christopher Hitchens, a vocal critic of Teresa.

Teresa was anti-choice and opposed to any kind of contraception.

Doctors visiting her so called missions described them as "homes for the dying" with terrible hygiene and generally unfit conditions, lack of food and no painkillers.

The report suggests that although her foundation raised hundreds of millions of dollars, it was less than generous with it to those in need.

During numerous floods in India and 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.

Teresa certainly could have used some of the millions she raised to build hospitals or proper clinics, but it all went to the Catholic church.

No wonder they consider her a saint.

The study said that although her work probably inspired many humanitarians to help the poor and sick around the world, Teresa certainly could not be considered one of them.

It is somewhat ironic that near the end of her life, she questioned her own faith.

No wonder. We're still waiting to see if the church will consider canonizing others who donated millions, yet created all kinds of pain and suffering.

I'm afraid Mother Teresa was about as far from saintly as one could get.

The study is available online at http://tinyurl.com/hufowun.


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