Learn about the controversies surrounding the world-renowned Roman Catholic nun and missionary Mother Teresa.
Everyone has heard of Mother Teresa, the Albanian-Indian nun, and missionary who dedicated her whole life to serving the sick and the poor in the slums of the Indian city of Calcutta. For her humanitarian works, she received the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She also received an honorable title as Saint Teresa of Calcutta posthumously by the Catholic Church in 2016.
Despite being considered as one of the 20th Century's greatest humanitarians, there are some controversies that question Mother Teresa's actual humanitarian values and efforts. Many of her critics even point out that her works of running missionary charities in India had motives other than serving the sick and the poor. Below we talk in detail about the controversies surrounding Mother Teresa.
One of the most outspoken critics of Mother Teresa is the late Christopher Hitchens. He wrote a book titled 'The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice,' in which he says Mother Teresa encouraged the people who worked under her to secretly baptize dying patients. By using quotes from an unpublished book by Susan Shields, Hitchens writes that a former nun from the Missionaries of Charity claimed Mother Teresa taught the nuns to baptize the patients in their deathbeds without giving consideration to the individual's religion.
There are some allegations that the nuns working under Mother Teresa baptized dying patients.
Source: CR Fashion Book
'Sisters were to ask each person in danger of death if he wanted a 'ticket to heaven,' Christopher wrote in his book. When the patient gave an affirmative reply, the sister would consider it as consent to baptism, and then she would 'pretend she was just cooling the person's forehead with a wet cloth, while in fact, she was baptizing him, saying the necessary words quietly.' There have been accusations that Mother Teresa secretly used this way to baptize the Hindus and Muslims.
In 1994, Robin Fox, the editor of the British medical journal The Lancet at the time, visited the Home for Dying Destitutes in Calcutta. He described the medical care provided to patients in those homes as 'haphazard.' He found out that the majority of the sisters and volunteers who worked there did not have the medical knowledge to training at all. 'There are doctors that call in from time to time,' Robin wrote. 'but usually the sisters and volunteers (some of whom have medical knowledge) make decisions as best they can.'
Some critics claim the missionary homes run by Mother Teresa were in terrible condition.
Source: USA Today
A former volunteer at one of the homes Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, Hemley Gonzalez, spent two months serving at Nirmal Hriday in Culcutta. He says he was shocked to see the terrible condition of medical care and hygiene at such homes of the organization. He claims that most of the workers, including himself, did not have any medical experience and training, and the organization didn't even vet him or the other volunteers to work there.
Find Out About: Complete Explanation of Aidan Gallagher Controversy
Additionally, Hemley Gonzalez also asserts the fact that he saw nuns reuse the needles after washing them in tap water, and clothes that were often soiled with urine and faeces were hand washed side by side in the same room where cooking utensils were washed. 'It was a scene out of a World War II concentration camp,' Gonzalez describes his experience.
In the book 'The Missionary Position' and the television documentary 'Hell's Angel,' Christopher Hitchens notes that Mother Teresa indirectly endorsed the government of Enver Hoxha in Socialist Albania. She allegedly visited Hoxha's grave after his death and laid a bouquet on his tombstone.
Mother Teresa allegedly involved with several controversial figures from which she received some large amounts of money.
Source: Smithsonian Magazine
Hitchen wrote that Mother Teresa accepted a donation of over one million dollars from financier Charles Keating, who later went to prison for defrauding investors. According to Hitchens, she even wrote to the court asking clemency for Keating without explaining their relationship. Additionally, Mother Teresa also allegedly praised right-wing dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier and even took money from him.
Stay tuned to Idol Persona for more facts and controversies related to your famous people.