Mother Teresa Was No Saint Says Study

Mother Teresa Was No Saint Says Study

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

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63 Responses to "Mother Teresa Was No Saint Says Study"

  1. Pratyush Biswas   January 31, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    No one says she was perfect. But please appreciate what difference she made. She gave the homeless a warm bed and a kind environment in their end rather than let them die alone on the cold street. What end do you prefer for them? Mother did what she could afford to do. If she wanted to send them also to hospitals or open a hospital at her Homes, expenditure would have been impossible with the donations she got. Instead she focused on giving the maximum people a better end. That’s all she did. Bless her for that.

  2. wurueeu   December 23, 2015 at 5:44 am

    Preston: I’m not inclined to believe the claims of people who believe in an invisible man in the sky.

  3. wurueeu   December 23, 2015 at 5:43 am

    Philip: They probably didn’t.

  4. Anthony Mizzi   December 22, 2015 at 1:41 am

    The authors of this book know nothing about holiness. People were dying in the streets and she helped give them a decent dying place. Accepting suffering for our sins is very meritorious before God.Mother Therese is a great Saint and a great model for all those who strive to please God. Let us all follow her holy life.

  5. Preston Munchinsonsen   December 21, 2015 at 7:02 am

    I know people, laity and clergy, that knew Mother Teresa. Not onecessarily of them ever had a bad worder to say about her.

  6. Philip Wikel   December 20, 2015 at 1:54 am

    Did you even read the article?

  7. jon lukas woodenman   December 19, 2015 at 3:31 am

    Highly likely a conspiracy theory ……

  8. bill   October 16, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    the truth is more important
    then your opinion dick hole

  9. SteveM   September 1, 2015 at 3:03 am

    Does it matter whether she is a saint or a fraud? If you believe in some form of religion you’ll be aware of judgement day. If she was a fraud then she will have been judged as one and dispatched where she deserves to go, if she was a saint then, similarily, she will go where the angels sing. I think that most religions become so ‘businesslike’ as to lose their actual reason, the Vatican is no different, its corporate, political and economic needs are well documented. Did she harm anyone, probably not, or at least no more so than any self-serving Politician or banker, did she do good, arguable, but there are many that think she made a difference, if thats the case then fine. Missing money, its not new, corrupt actions, not new! Why not let her rest, her conscience – wherever it is – will be her eternal guide.

  10. Megsie   June 28, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    I have a friend who is a nurse and when younger worked in India for her, she said Mother Teresa was a saintly person. These people want to sell books. End of story.

  11. Daniel Lally   March 16, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    You have to realize that Mother Teresa did feed the poor and she obviously was not a medical professional. Many people were unwilling to work in places like Calcutta. She would need a fair number of skilled doctors and nurses to set up a hospital. I would certainly do a worse job if I were loaded with such responsibilities due to my lack of medical knowlege. I wonder if the doctors who examined the facilites ever offerred to help out or provide anything.

  12. Elizabeth montgomery   January 8, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Mother Teresa was a really good person shame she died but that happens to all of us in the end

  13. Heather Sheherd   January 2, 2015 at 3:45 am

    For a university research project to be acceptable, it usually has to be evidence-based, not speculative.

  14. Heather Sheherd   January 2, 2015 at 3:38 am

    As church minister, hospital chaplain and former nurse, I care about the sick and dying; and cannot think how denying patients sanitation, medication and comfort , possibly glorifies Christ. It is plain wicked. I believe this woman went to a nice clean, modern hospital when she was ill herself, which seems hypocritical, to say the least.
    I had great respect f or her, but now feel that it is wrong to canonized her.

  15. Saul   August 25, 2014 at 8:44 am

    The truth eventually comes out. that is for sure. This makes one wonder about other so-called “saints”

    • Sun Pat   September 22, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      Stay In the poorest streets of Kolkata with the poor and then comment…. In fact, stay in any slum area in any western nation and then comment… I dare you could even sleep outside your house without any of the usual comfort that you have daily…

  16. eddeva   June 12, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    The woman was a monster.

  17. naveen   May 3, 2014 at 7:44 am

    mother teresa is saint……..

  18. Andres   March 19, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    It’s so funny how people like the author of this study on Mother
    Teresa takes the time and effort to destroy the image and name and stain the work of a woman whose believes and quotes are misconstrued because the readers lack critical thinking skills and genuine interested on the research they are doing. People like this, however would never take the time and make the effort to actually do research on the work that she would be doing if she were alive. These angry and cynical people want to take someone powerful, influential and good, and stain them because that would mean they will become Saints in their own rights, of their opinion and ideas. These writers and researchers never spent a day in Calcutta, or worked with missionaries of charity, or even gave a damn about the sick or the dying.
    What they do is to gather information, claims from people who “worked for her”, volunteered for her, gather quotes and turn it around and totally miss the real meaning of it all. No research in Hell will claim her goodness and credibility. How dare anyone say or write anything of the matter when in their own heads only exists their own narrow views and the goal to claim righteousness through defamation.

    • Nat   September 23, 2015 at 5:27 am

      To say that the study lacked critical thinking is absorbed, coming up with a thought, or an idea to test that may be “in ordinary” and against a the norm is the quintessential definition of critical thinking. Also, in academic research authors have to go through a lot to be able to publish the research, and have to submit forms to even start the research. Another things is that academic research can always be argued with more academic research, but if this study were to be replicated (which it kind of has been) you would find the same data, not you specifically most likely due to bias. Regardless, researchers set aside their bias “as best as they can” that is why there are precautions when it comes to academics, to avoid bias, and find support.

  19. De Burke (@BurkeyActual)   February 6, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I find myself wondering often if Christians have misunderstood the meaning of the phrase ‘Suffer the little children’.

  20. Annemiek Radstake   January 27, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Theres no use in being a saint. Just human beings who give from the heart to those who want our help and deserve it. Which according to me, is the same.

  21. J. Townsend   January 26, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Their are always going to be question’s in the bible that we may not understand but we search but one question is Let God be right and everyone a lier. God judges the quick and the dead. Weather a person is a saint or not that person is still Gods’.

    God is all knowing, we are just his servant’s to bear good fruits in the name of Jesus Christ and the lord is Master over all. Sometimes the mystery’s in the bible are there for reason’s and examples. We are not to judge others in what they believe but to build up the word of the Lord. God is the one who opens our eyes and Gods’ plan is not always our plan

    Take a lesson from brother Paul…… Thank God Jesus is preached but keep in remembrance Gods holy words thru the bible…….. so if God knows more about man than we will all be judged…. the just and the unjust….. he is the final authority.

    • Olan   February 7, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Please learn some grammar. Your writing is dreadful.

  22. Jane Scharf   November 19, 2013 at 5:47 am

    this article is very poorly constructed. It contains nothing but unsupported gossip. Shame on the writers and I am shocked that it would be advertised on a University of Ottawa website.

  23. Kisan Brapanpalli   October 9, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I met her around 22 years ago in Calcutta airport near the luggage belts. My bag was torn in transit and I went to complain and she offered me her ‘wisdom’ that that’s just how things are here in Calcutta and I needed to accept it. I said I disagreed and thought that things can be changed / improved. I instinctively rejected her fatalism back then without thinking who was speaking, then a minute or so later it dawned on me who she was. I wasn’t awestruck but just annoyed at an old fool pushing fatalism as wisdom….

  24. George Daniel   October 9, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Well….did the Papacy get this one wrong or is Christopher Hitchens (The Missionary Position) and this research by Carole Senechal of the University of Ottawa and researchers from the University of Montreal, part of a grand conspiracy to denigrade Mother Theresa? ? ? Should the Catholic Church hierachy hold public hearings before declaring an individual a saint? Is the Papacy really infallible?

  25. samotti   October 9, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Mother Teresa, send us flowers from heaven. You share the inheritance of the SAINTS. I am so confident that no mudslinging can stain the purity of love you shared.

  26. Betty Bissonnette   October 9, 2013 at 4:54 am

    You know what, it is not up to us humans to judge this woman. I have no idea whether or not she was a saint or not. She will be judge like that rest of us, there is no hiding from God.

  27. Lesa   October 9, 2013 at 3:36 am

    I know a young man, personally, who worked with her extensively and this just isn’t true. What is the person who wrote this doing for mankind, by even writing such an article? No, I’m not Catholic!

  28. Abigail Hart   October 9, 2013 at 2:13 am

    So quick to attack the atheists and not respond to the matter at hand. I’m sorry that “we atheists” are so “sick in the head” that we question everything instead of relying on an ancient book (which has conclusive evidence of being nothing but a fable, a Herculean tale) to guide our lives. You, my friends, are the ones that are sick in the head. Your god will never be my crutch. We are all born athiests, until someone tries to close our mind. Evidence over faith. Medicine and science over faith. Humanity over faith.

    – sincerely, an ex Christia-school drop out.

    • Barry freeman   October 9, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      I totally..totally agree with your every word
      You have mirrored my own thoughts and outlook to the letter
      Power to your pen

  29. Anthony Fox   October 9, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Saints don’t “do” miracles – God does … Saints are forgiven sinners – Theresa is forgiven, so she’s a Saint – get over it! (and I’m not a Roman Catholic – I’m a Lutheran)

    • Alex   October 16, 2013 at 7:19 am

      Does it matter whether ur a catholic or Lutheran ? two faces of the same gutter.

  30. Frank Mouton   October 8, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Mother Theresa was also responsible for many Aids Deaths as she was against the Condom

  31. Rene Cantu   October 8, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Nothing here and nothing against it can be proven. All we can do is hold on to what we think is true based on our own research or gut. Don’t believe everything on the Internet. It could be true, but so might the opposite.

  32. John   October 8, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    You atheists are sick in the head. Liberalism is a mental disease.

    • L. Smith   October 8, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      So only atheists can criticize Mother Teresa, all atheists are liberals, and all liberals are mentally ill? I’ll take Sweeping Generalizations for $100, Alex.

    • Alex   October 16, 2013 at 7:18 am

      So according to u Christianity over Humanity? So another millions non believers will die at ur hands like they did before ? Grow up .Christianity infact religion is a disease .Its arrogant,jealous,anti science,anti humanist.And liberalism means someone who “respect” and use “logic”.So I dont think thats bad anyway.But some one like u who is brainwashed with fairy tales and taking them literally wont understand.If u r into jesus then there r other characters that u might worship like say Batman and spiderman. I will go with Batman,anyday cooler.period.

  33. Stefan Dumitrache   October 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Now we need to read something like this about Padre Pio. Big religious organizations have a constant need for such saints to keep the illusion alive and well.

  34. manil   October 8, 2013 at 7:04 am

    where are the millions is my question?

    • Caroline   October 9, 2013 at 5:37 am

      That’s what I was thinking too.

    • Caroline   October 9, 2013 at 5:41 am

      That’s what I am wondering too.

  35. nahashon kimemia   October 8, 2013 at 5:34 am

    The study does not account for India’s multi-religious setting, the politics stemming from this setting, the desire for atheists to put religion in disrepute, an understanding of Catholic social justice values, Catholic perspectives on suffering and the teachings of forgiveness and mercy within the Catholic church. For example, you cannot accuse her of her views on abortion when her faith is against abortion. Its not an accusation. Its actually your opinion against abortion, framed as an accusation and then disguised as a fact.

    • Jon Graves   October 8, 2013 at 7:41 am

      A number of people need to actually read their bible. Catholicism endorses abortions:

      Exodus 21:22-23 – Abortion is not murder. A fetus is not considered a human life.
      Leviticus 27:6 – The Bible places no value on fetuses or infants less than one month old.
      Numbers 3:15-16 – Fetuses and infants less than one month old are not considered persons.
      Numbers 31:15-17, Hosea 9:14, Hosea 9:16, Hosea 13:16 – God sometimes approves of killing fetuses.
      2 Samuel 12:14 – God sometimes kills newborn babies to punish their parents.
      Numbers 5:21-21, 27-28 – God sometimes causes abortions by cursing unfaithful wives.
      Genesis 38:24 – God’s law sometimes requires the execution (by burning to death) of pregnant women.

      • nahashon kimemia   October 8, 2013 at 8:15 am

        It is interesting to note that none of your Bible verses you mention support abortion or even contemplate it but I am sure you already know that. Here is a Bible verse for you. Read Psalm 139. Here is part of it.

        “You (God) formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you, When I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth. Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be. How precious to me are your designs, O God; how vast the sum of them!”

        If you accept abortion then that is okay. No one should interfere with your opinion. If we do not then no one should interfere with ours. We should only voice our opinions when there are those among us ho cannot voice theirs. Our teachings say what they say. Do not manipulate them to suit your own ends.

        • Alex   October 16, 2013 at 7:25 am

          maybe he got lost and quoted from the wrong bible.Its difficult when u got some many versions 🙂

    • Jeff A   October 8, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      “…you cannot accuse her of her views on abortion when her faith is against abortion.”

      Uhhh…. yes, we absolutely can — and we do. By railing against birth control and abortion, Mother Teresa kept the women and children in her care shackled in the cycle of poverty. That was great for her and the RCC, of course, because it allowed them to keep pocketing millions under the false pretense of helping the poor.

      Just because a view or opinion is based in religion does not put it above criticism.

      • nahashon kimemia   October 9, 2013 at 3:26 am

        “… you cannot accuse her of her views on abortion when her faith is against abortion. Its not an accusation. Its actually your opinion against abortion, framed as an accusation and then disguised as a fact.”

        You see, this is my problem. You only quote what you want and then ignore the actual context of the words. Do not voice your opinion by manipulating the voice of others.

        If I am a black man then you cannot accuse me of being black. If I am a liberal then you cannot accuse me of being liberal. If I am against abortion then you cannot accuse me of being against abortion.

        If you accuse me of who I am and what I believe in then your accusation shows much more about your ignorance that is does about mine.

        Get some facts and present them. Nobody will argue. Try and force your opinion on others through manipulation and there will be a problem. I’m out.

        • Cosmin Tomescu   October 9, 2013 at 6:46 am

          so what you say actualy is that Hitler had the right to purify the race being acordingly to hes views

          • Jeff A   October 9, 2013 at 7:19 am

            Thank you.

          • nahashon kimemia   October 9, 2013 at 8:54 am

            “Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: ‘You shall indeed hear but not understand you shall indeed look but never see.” – Matthew 13:14.

            I shall call you my friend because I believe that we are friends even though we misinterpret each other.

            According to our teaching abortion has killed more people than Hitler ever did, still we cannot force our opinion on you for we seek a change of heart not a change of laws.

            I would ask you to respect the right of Mother Teresa to believe and my right to believe. Remember, there was a time when people were accused of being scientists, of being civil rights sympathizers, of being liberal and of being different. This is such a time.

            It is not time to shrink from belief but rather, it is a time to embrace. Do good unto others and if you will not do it then let others bear that burden. Those who advocate for the murder of innocents, including abortionists and Hitler need a change of heart.

            We, as a people of faith, cannot condemn anyone including abortionists and Hitler himself. We cannot force you to open your mind and accept our right to believe, we can only urge you.

            And so I ask you, my friends, respect the right of others to believe in whatever they choose to believe in. Do not condemn anyone for their beliefs, in fact protect them when their right to believe is questioned or put on trial.

            I cannot speak further on this matter. I shall only pray that you may see the wisdom in my humble submissions.

          • Jeff A   October 9, 2013 at 11:16 am

            No one is question your right or Mother Teresa’s “right to believe”. Using straw-man arguments only serves to make you look more dishonest than you already do.

          • viperx77   October 19, 2013 at 3:39 pm

            and… Godwin’s law

        • Jeff A   October 9, 2013 at 11:14 am

          So I can’t accuse a murderer of being a murderer because that’s “who he is and what he believes”? I can’t accuse a rapist of being a rapist? What utter nonsense.

          The only person being manipulative here is the one who is disingenuously using the “you’re taking my statement out of context” argument in an attempt to put crackpot “beliefs” on the same level with facts and evidence.

          “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Perhaps you should follow your own bible’s advice before accusing others of ignorance.

          • nahashon kimemia   October 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

            “Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument” – Desmond Tutu.

          • Jeff A   October 9, 2013 at 3:32 pm

            In other words, you have no intelligent response.

          • M   October 10, 2013 at 2:58 am

            The bible supports slavery, *a slave should stay in his place*, and also encourages women to seduce men (Ruth). The bible is not infallible. What we should do is see what the evidence is, and the truth the evidence bears out.

    • Alex   October 16, 2013 at 7:23 am

      yeah maybe then Catholicism must be disbanded if thats what Catholicism’s views r on these serious issues.Its against humanity. Whether catholic or not.

  36. Steve Cox   October 8, 2013 at 12:57 am

    Someone wrapped a chimp in a towel.

  37. Charles   October 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    She also accepted money from dictators like Duvalier and Hoxha, allowing them to gain legitimacy as philanthropists despite their murderous ways. And she accepted millions from a corrupt U.S. Senator, and refused to return the money when she learned it was stolen.

  38. Joe Cogan   October 7, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Christopher Hitchens already brought much of this to light a decade ago; this just confirms it.

  39. Caleb Powell   October 6, 2013 at 8:04 am

    I think this perspective needs more attention. In my travels in SE Asia I met a nurse who had worked with Mother Theresa, and this nurse said she quit because of the conditions that bordered on sadistic, and Mother’s indifference to these conditions. Another former nurse wrote a biography but no one would publish it for similar reasons. Christopher Hitchens documents this in his book The Missionary Position.

    It’s possible her intentions were good and that she was not as sadistic as Hitchens portrays her, but there definitely are legitimate questions that push back against how saintly she was.


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