Internationally revered Catholic nun Mother Teresa and her legacy are the subjects of a new study released by University of Ottawa researcher Carole Sénéchal Serge, and University of Montreal researchers Larivée and Genevieve Chenard. The study authors found that Mother Teresa was the farthest thing from a saint. Instead, the study authors say, she was a cruel woman who believed that there was glory in the suffering of the sick. She made people with grave illnesses sicker by denying them medication and forcing them to writhe in pain while she squirreled away “enormous sums of money” that could have been used to help them.
The authors cite Mother Teresa as saying “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.” They say this opinion informed how she cared for the sick and dying, causing huge amounts of pain and loss of dignity among her charges.
The study also suggests that she failed to provide for her patients’ basic medical needs and in some cases, starved them of food and medications. They also point out that she received care in a regular modern hospital when she herself fell sick, and that she misused millions of dollars in aid money that should have gone to care for the patients in her homes for the dying.
The study authors claim that Mother Teresa successfully orchestrated a deceitful media campaign for herself that painted her in a light altogether different from the woman she really was, and that she manipulated public opinion to reflect her deeds as altruistic when they were seemingly sadistic.
She also took credit for “miraculous” healings in which she was not involved. Speaking of the famous case of a girl who was “cured” by Mother Teresa, the study authors write:
Her doctors thought otherwise: the ovarian cyst and the tuberculosis from which she suffered were healed by the drugs they had given her. The Vatican, nevertheless, concluded that it was a miracle. Mother Teresa’s popularity was such that she had become untouchable for the population, which had already declared her a saint.
The study, which was released earlier this year, was published in the journal Religieuses. The researchers formed their conclusions after studying hundreds of official documents, some of which were written by medical doctors who had visited Mother Teresa’s facilities and witnessed the alleged barbaric and “unsanitary” conditions firsthand.
According to reports, she also defended a priest, Donald McGuire, who she knew to be a pedophile, campaigning for him to be returned to his position after he had been removed from it following allegations of abuse. After he was returned to his position at her urging, he went on to molest at least eight additional boys until he was finally arrested in 2005. He is currently serving a 25 year sentence in federal prison stemming from those charges.
In a letter Mother Teresa wrote to the priest’s superior, she said that he had admitted to what he had done but that the reputation of the priesthood was the more important consideration, writing:
(He has) admitted imprudence in his behavior…I understand how grave is the scandal touching the priesthood in the U.S.A. and how careful we must be to guard the purity and reputation of that priesthood. I must say, however, that I have confidence and trust in Fr. McGuire and wish to see his vital ministry resume as soon as possible.
The study says that Mother Teresa was no saint and it’s sure to create controversy within the Catholic Church and around the world.
By: Rebecca Savastio