Top 10 Reasons Mother Teresa Was No Saint: 10 Misconceptions about Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa known and celebrated worldwide as the Albanian Nun who received a calling to work with the poor in the slums of Calcutta. Even now, many years after her death, her name is synonymous with charity, with love and care of the poor. She was honored with the Nobel Prize for Peace and, shortly after her death the Vatican started an accelerated process for her canonization.
Significant controversy surrounds her life and her missionary work. Here we list the top 10 reasons why Mother Teresa was not a saint and why claims about her life and work should be treated with caution.
10. Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying provides abysmal medical care.
Mother Teresa received a vision from God telling her to help the poor while living among them. Following some very basic medical training Mother Teresa started to look after the ‘poorest among the poor’., those who were dying, destitute on the streets in the slums of Calcutta. In 1952 her Missionaries of Charity organization started her Kalighat Home for the Dying – a place where people could come to die in dignity and comfort. She wanted to make it possible for ‘people who lived like animals to die like angels – loved and wanted’.
When qualified doctors visited the home, however they found that the medical care provided was very poor. Most of the volunteers had no medical knowledge and yet had to make medical decisions because there were no doctors available. There was no distinction made between those who were suffering from curable and incurable illnesses so people who might have survived had they been given access to treatment were left to die. Needles were re-used so many times that they became blunt and they were not sterilized between uses. In 1981 when the state of care in her facilities was challenged she said ‘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’. This shows a very cynical use of the poor to further the ends of others.
There was no proper pain management, meaning people suffered in needless pain while they died. Mother Teresa promoted this suffering as she felt that it was of benefit to suffer in this world for a better life in heaven. She is reputed to have once told someone dying in pain ‘you are suffering, that means Jesus is kissing you’. It is not known whether the sufferer was even Christian but probably not, he screamed back, in pain and distressed ‘tell your Jesus to stop kissing me’.
With regard to her own medical treatment Mother Teresa received only the best. Although she made public shows of declining free high quality medical treatment she nevertheless had no compunctions about secretly accepting medical care from some of the best institutions in the world including having cataract surgery and having a pace maker installed. When the time came for her to be ‘kissed by Jesus’ she did not die in one of her own homes for the dying and was not treated with blunt needles. She passed to meet her maker in the very best of medical facilities.