Rooting for Mother Teresa

Nov 2008
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#1
POPE FRANCIS last week approved two of his predecessors for sainthood — John Paul II and John XXIII — fast-tracking the latter in spite of his having only one miracle to his credit rather than the usual two. Mother Teresa, who died in 1997, has not been given the same exemption (she also has just one miracle) and remains merely beatified.

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Arianna Vairo






Having volunteered for a time with Mother Teresa, I find myself rooting for her cause as if for the home team. And on principle I’m disappointed by the message sent when two men with complex legacies outpace a woman who devoted herself completely to serving others.
To many Roman Catholics, Mother Teresa, who was born Agnes Bojaxhiu in 1910 of Albanian heritage, was the religion’s best ambassador. “She was one of the only things we learned about in Catholic school that I thought made total sense,” a friend of mine recently told me.







Rooting for Mother Teresa - NYTimes.com









When I think of Saints Mother Theresa always comes to mind. She has shown a true spirit of selfless giving in her ministry to the sick in Calcutta for decades. To qualify for a Saint it takes two miracles to happen. She had one (In 2002, the Holy Father recognized the healing of an Indian woman as the miracle needed to beatify Mother Teresa of Calcutta. That healing occurred on the first anniversary of Mother Teresa's death. It involved a non-Christian woman in India who had a huge abdominal tumor and woke up to find the tumor gone. Members of the Missionaries of Charity prayed for their founder's intervention to help the sick woman.)Mother Teresa - Beatification and Road to Sainthood

Still she has not been considered for Sainthood and makes me wonder why the Catholic church would overlook her yet promote
John XXIII with only one miracle. I am definitely rooting for her. thoughts?
 
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Nov 2010
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Jefferson State
#2
It seems to all hedge on documented "miracles" that people claim her intercession was responsible for. "Sainthood" in Catholicism has definitions. I have no idea why pope John the 23rd would be sanctified first. Maybe because his death preceded Mother Theresa's?

There are saints in many religious traditions.

I think the topic of sainthood is an interesting one that I'd prefer we study ecumenically, rather than just looking at Christian saints.

Buddhist saints are not well known by Westerners. Neither are Hindu saints, nor Muslim ones.

I feel as though I have a connection with a number of saints in different religious traditions. One of the saints that I've known in my lifetime is Anandamayi Ma. I never met her in person, but she appeared in a dream in my first Buddhist ten day meditation retreat.
 
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May 2013
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#3
It seems to all hedge on documented "miracles" that people claim her intercession was responsible for. "Sainthood" in Catholicism has definitions. I have no idea why pope John the 23rd would be sanctified first. Maybe because his death preceded Mother Theresa's?

There are saints in many religious traditions.

I think the topic of sainthood is an interesting one that I'd prefer we study ecumenically, rather than just looking at Christian saints.

Buddhist saints are not well known by Westerners. Neither are Hindu saints, nor Muslim ones.

I feel as though I have a connection with a number of saints in different religious traditions. One of the saints that I've known in my lifetime is Anandamayi Ma. I never met her in person, but she appeared in a dream in my first Buddhist ten day meditation retreat.
Mother Teresa according to most accounts was a woman with a disturbed mind, who frequently was unsure about the existance of god. Hitchens (RIP) did a great expose/documentary on the life of Mother Teresa called [correction: Hell's Angel] 'Devil's Angel', which described how she was the poster girl for the Catholic church, who reveled in attention. She turned a blind eye to the massacres in South America, and did photo ops with dictators.

Her home of the dying in India was described by one former worker there as looking like a concentration camp. Hardly someone who did miracles, or helped the sick, suffering in her eyes meant people went to heaven i.e. cult of suffering. Relatives couldn't visit, the 'patients' lay in the hot air, she didn't use sterile needles, and she refused to send her 'patients' to hospitals even if the local hospital could cure them.

Hitchens put it down to the church desperately wanting to create more saints, as to sidetrack believers from the pedophile priest scandals, as a reason why they made her a saint.
 
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Nov 2010
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#4
Hmm, I feel conflicted.

I did find this Times of India story about Mother Theresa:

"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, 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 Teresa's 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, Teresa had 517 missions or "homes for the dying" as described by doctors visiting several of these establishments in Kolkata. They 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, 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".

According to the researchers, one of the miracles attributed to Mother Theresa is the healing of Monica Besra, who suffered from intense abdominal pain, after a medallion blessed by her was placed on Besra's abdomen.

Larivee said, "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."

Mother Teresa 'saint of the media', controversial study says - Times Of India
 
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Djinn

Council Hall
Dec 2007
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#5
Let's see... There are at least 10,000 Catholic Saints. At two miracles apiece, and about 1960 years since the start of Christianity, we're looking at an average of about ten miracles annually. Since these miracles never seem to make the newspapers, I'm betting that the bar for miracles is being set rather low.
 
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Nov 2010
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#6
You know I'm very ambivalent about "sainthood". I know a number of Buddhist teachers who are considered to have a high level of "realization" and many wooo woo things are attributed to them. I've even myself experienced the phenomena that occur around such "saints".

What impresses me more, is when people are genuinely kind to all, and naturally humble without contrivance.
 
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Rorschach

Former Staff
Aug 2012
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america
#7
Here, here!

I am not Catholic, but, I second your wishes, here.

But, alas, without the recognition, or with the recognition...Mother Teresa WAS a "Saint!"
 
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#8
I will never get the sainthood thing, heard of a lot of nice people, but to call them saints is a bit much for me. Mother Teresa and other would be saints might have done some good things. But to the point they were divine in some way, no proof of that.
 
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Nov 2010
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#9
I will never get the sainthood thing, heard of a lot of nice people, but to call them saints is a bit much for me. Mother Teresa and other would be saints might have done some good things. But to the point they were divine in some way, no proof of that.
I don't think "sainthood" means that you're divine. I think it means you have practiced enough of whatever your tradition teaches that you can manifest supernatural qualities. They are attributing healing qualities to placing a piece of jewelry on someone with Mother Teresa's face on it.

There certainly are living Buddhist masters that I revere because of their meditational depth.
 

Djinn

Council Hall
Dec 2007
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Pennsylvania, USA
#10
If memory serves me right, "sainthood" is a church-sanctioned confirmation that an individual's soul is indisputably in heaven.
 
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