The canonisation ceremony of Mother Teresa is due to take place at Vatican on Sunday after the church fast-tracked her for sainthood. Heads of government and various dignitaries will travel to Rome for the ceremony with something like six hundred press in attendance.
Mother Teresa is already a saint in many people’s eyes because of her reputation for “good work” amongst the poor and ill in India. Government leaders fell over themselves to be seen with her, she was awarded the Nobel Prize and travelled the world publicising the work that she did. Along the way she managed to raise millions of dollars for her cause.
Amongst all the “hero worshipping” of Mother Teresa was one very loud dissenting voice, namely Christopher Hitchens
While Christopher Hitchens offered up in-depth essays and critiques on many notable figures and political movements, hardly any public figure saw as much criticism as Mother Teresa, who Hitchens based several essays and his novel “The Missionary Position” on. His views on Mother Teresa didn’t focus entirely on her character, rather extended to highlighting the praise and sainthood that she received by believers and non-believers alike, while he felt that she was not bereft of faults. Hitchens believed that the idolization that was placed on her wasn’t earned and that she did more harm than good, particularly with the horrid conditions of the hospice that she ran and her stark opposition of contraception, wherein she compared the usage of contraceptives to abortion.
Hitchens offered disturbing examples. When Dr. Robin Fox, editor of the leading medical journal The Lancet, visited Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying operation in Calcutta, in 1994, he found that systematic approaches to diagnosing and caring for ill patients were frowned upon, because Mother Teresa preferred “providence to planning,” with one consequence being that patients were frequently misdiagnosed and given the wrong medicines. (“Investigations,” as the attending sisters told him, “are seldom permissible.”) Worse, he found a disturbing lack of the strong analgesics that are often required to manage the pain of the dying. The lack of good analgesia, Fox said, “marks Mother Teresa’s approach as clearly separate from the hospice movement. I know which I prefer.”
So when you see the glorious ceremony on TV in the next few days do spare a thought for all those who suffered at the hands of this woman because it was her view that “suffering was a gift from god” and prepared them for a better world to come.
But as I wrote in a previous blog “suffering was good” for other people but when it came to her own health she flew out to America for treatment.
I find it remarkable that this woman got away with what she did in the name of a “god” and millions bought the story…………..and sadly, still do.