A controversial study has claimed that Mother Teresa’s beatification was a creation of an orchestrated and effective media campaign.
The study, to be published this month in the journal of studies in religion and sciences called Religieuses, said that blessed Teresa was “anything but a saint.” She generous with her prayers but miserly with her foundation’s millions when it came to humanity’s suffering, the study said according to Times of India.
Researchers Serge Larivee and Genevieve Chenard from the University of Montreal’s department of psychoeducation, and Carole Senechal of the University of Ottawa’s faculty of education, conducted the study.
According to the study, the Vatican overlooked her dubious way of caring for the sick by glorifying their suffering instead of relieving it. She actually felt it was beautiful to see the poor suffer, it said.
The Vatican went ahead with her beatification “to revitalize the Church and inspire the faithful especially at a time when churches are empty and the Roman authority is in decline,” the study added.
The researchers analysed published writings about Mother Teresa and concluded that her hallowed image, “which does not stand up to analysis of the facts, was constructed, and that her beatification was orchestrated by an effective media campaign”.
According to Larivee, facts debunk Teresa’s myth.
He says that the Vatican, before deciding on her beatification, did not take into account “her rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding … abortion, contraception, and divorce.”
At the time of her death, she had 517 “homes for the dying” and these missions welcomed the poor and sick in more than 100 countries. Two-thirds of the people coming to these missions hoped to a find a doctor to treat them, while the other third lay dying without receiving apt care.
According to the study, visiting the doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions and a shortage of actual care, food and painkillers.
They say that the problem was not a paucity of funds as the Order of the Missionaries of Charity successfully raised hundreds of millions of dollars.
Researchers said that when it came to her own treatment, “she received it in a modern American hospital.”
The three researchers also dug into records of her meeting in London in 1968 with the BBC’s Malcom Muggeridge who had strong views against abortion and shared Mother Teresa’s right-wing Catholic values.
The researchers say Muggeridge had decided to promote Teresa.
In 1969, he made a eulogistic film on the missionary, promoting her by attributing to her the “first photographic miracle”, when it should have been attributed to the new film stock being marketed by Kodak.
Following her death, the Vatican decided to waive the usual five-year waiting period to open the beatification process.
One of the miracles attributed to Mother Theresa is the healing of Monica Besra, after a medallion blessed by Mother Teresa was placed on Besra’s abdomen. Bersa suffered from an ovarian cyst and the tuberculosis.
Larivee said Bersa’s doctors thought said she was healed by the drugs they had given her.
The Vatican, nevertheless, concluded that it was a miracle.
- times of India