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Author Topic: Mother Theresa  (Read 6138 times)

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Offline BeorningTopic starter

Mother Theresa
« on: September 04, 2016, 03:24:18 PM »
Mother Theresa of Calcutta has been declared as a saint today.

I wonder: what's the opinion on her in your countries? Back here, there seem to be two opinions: one that considers her an impeccably saintly person and another that says that she was some kind of fundamentalist who practically tortured people she was supposedly taking care of...

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2016, 05:25:22 PM »

I thought this article on the topic was rather interesting:

Indian rationalists call Mother Teresa's miracle hocus-pocus
https://mukto-mona.com/Articles/mother_teresa/prabir_news.htm

Quote
and another that says that she was some kind of fundamentalist who practically tortured people she was supposedly taking care of...

I'd be interested in hearing a little more about how she "tortured" people? That's new to me.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2016, 05:41:46 PM »
Sweden isn't a Roman catholic country or even a very religious country, but she's generally been held in high regard by the media here and by many doctors and human rights activists. I know she had some fairly conservative ideas (about contraception and so on?) but she does come across as a great example of commitment, love and courage in taking on the distress of run-down and sick people.

I'm not really concerned with whether there are creditable miracles linked to her after her passing. That's crucial to declaration of her as a saint, but surely the real weight of her sainthood lies in what she achieved in Calcutta in her lifetime.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2016, 05:42:49 PM by gaggedLouise »

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2016, 09:38:36 PM »
I thought this article on the topic was rather interesting:

Indian rationalists call Mother Teresa's miracle hocus-pocus
https://mukto-mona.com/Articles/mother_teresa/prabir_news.htm

I'd be interested in hearing a little more about how she "tortured" people? That's new to me.

By the mere factor of trying to make Mother Teresa evil they fail the argument :P

As for those people, I don't see them going to third world countries and helping people with their own hands. :P
« Last Edit: September 04, 2016, 09:43:48 PM by Lustful Bride »

Offline Mathim

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2016, 10:01:49 PM »
I thought this article on the topic was rather interesting:

Indian rationalists call Mother Teresa's miracle hocus-pocus
https://mukto-mona.com/Articles/mother_teresa/prabir_news.htm

I'd be interested in hearing a little more about how she "tortured" people? That's new to me.

Read Christopher Hitchens' book about her. You'll question whether or not she actually did anything useful at all in her entire life.

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2016, 10:07:37 PM »
Guess we can't have nice things :P.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2016, 12:43:09 AM »
I'd be interested in hearing a little more about how she "tortured" people? That's new to me.

I've read some accusations that she actually don't give all the available treatment to the patients under her care, as she was "glorifying the suffering".

I've also seen some accusations of financial fraud mentioned...

Not saying any of it is true. Just asking. It's hard to get impartial opinions back here...

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2016, 01:31:13 AM »
I've read some accusations that she actually don't give all the available treatment to the patients under her care, as she was "glorifying the suffering".

I've also seen some accusations of financial fraud mentioned...

Not saying any of it is true. Just asking. It's hard to get impartial opinions back here...

I figure that if one is running a non-profit, volunteering (kind of) network to help severely ill people and orphans in cities that are hursting with poor and badly ill people, orphans and social outcasts, then it's hard not to come up against questions like: are we going to concentrate on helping a very limited number and giving them the best care there is, or should we aim to reach a much larger number of people and make sure they are kept in somewhat tolerable conditions and given a chance to go on in life (or to die in peace)? Her efforts received very little state funding in India for many years - I don't know to what extent she got such funding later on - and the challenge was a huge one, so some of the criticism could be unfair because her hospices and hospitals were being compared with much more solidly funded hospitals and care homes, catering to people who were considerably better off. Just  my thoughts.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2016, 07:16:48 AM »
The criticism I've heard (which may be based on the Hitchens' book) was that even when she was receiving a lot of funding, she was choosing to use these funds to build houses for her convent or for her personal medical treatments, than for the people under her care. Supposedly, she was withholding basic painkillers for some of these people, as she was "offering their suffering to God" and so on...

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2016, 07:30:24 AM »
Would love to know more about that, but Hitchens (if indeed he is the key source) had a reputation for being a hit-or-miss polemicist. A brilliant writer and often very fun or angry and engaging, but not always very accurate...

Offline Humble Scribe

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2016, 10:00:14 AM »
He might exaggerate for sake of effect, but I'm not aware of an instance of him getting his facts wrong. In any case, he wasn't responsible for the primary research here, he was repeating things that other authoritative sources had produced. In the case of the deliberate suffering, there seem to be two main damning reports, the first from the Editor of The Lancet in 1991 (this is a widely respected, peer reviewed UK medical journal) - he had visited her missions personally and questioned the way that the care was being given; and the second from the Universities of Montreal/Ottawa in the Canadian journal Studies In Religion in 2013. The latter reviewed 500 separate reports and documents on Mother Teresa and was published as "The Dark Side of Mother Teresa". When I was growing up the general opinion was that she was an unquestioned force for good, but then, people used to say that about Jimmy Savile as well... I think at the very least she was a questionable individual who was good at turning the media story her way. Hitch may have been a polemicist who liked being controversial, but that doesn't make him wrong.

Personally I think the whole concept of sainthood is a ridiculous medieval holdover, which the Vatican uses as a political tool, but hey.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 10:05:12 AM by Humble Scribe »

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2016, 10:18:20 AM »
I am just happy for another female saint.

As for the controversy. Im gonna go 50/50 there. Maybe she did do fucked up things, but she certainly did help people too so...in that respect its like any other charity. :P

Offline Blythe

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2016, 11:36:18 AM »
From what I remember about the controversy about Mother Teresa--she didn't distinguish curable and incurable illnesses (which is kind of important when tending the sick), there wasn't anything in the way of managing patients' pain, and she grouped people with tuberculosis (high contagious) in with people who didn't have it. Also heard there was some controversy with her trying to baptize people without their consent (baptizing Hindus and Muslims without their permission, for example).

I don't have a source on that; that's just what I recall off the top of my head as some of the controversies levied at her. I'm not sure how truthful they are, either.

(No real opinion on her becoming a saint other than some surprise that it actually happened; doesn't it usually take longer for that?)

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2016, 11:52:01 AM »
 “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

Too many base success on the grand gesture and not on the everyday work that is done to alleviate suffering and disease.  A good person is often seen as an affront and criticism is used to belittle and debase them.  To her credit the opinions of others, whether good or ill, did not influence her reaction to the need she saw and the work she did.   

Mother Teresa dedicated her life to service and to the love of those she served.  She didn't look for love for herself or praise for the work she did.  She knew the world would be capable of hate for her, for her life, for her sacrifices, yet she endured and gave all she had to give.  How wonderful this world would be if we could give even a small percentage of what she gave as selflessly as she did.

Offline Humble Scribe

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2016, 02:44:36 PM »
(No real opinion on her becoming a saint other than some surprise that it actually happened; doesn't it usually take longer for that?)

She was fast-tracked. The church suspended its normal "investigation" rules into whether miracles are actually attributable to her because she was popular. They did the same with Pope John Paul II. Since miracles are bullshit, I don't much care about that one way or the other.

Too many base success on the grand gesture and not on the everyday work that is done to alleviate suffering and disease. 

Maybe. But denying people painkillers because you believe in the dignity of suffering is fucked up whichever way you want to slice it, and denying that aspect of her is to wilfully fail to see things in the whole.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2016, 02:48:23 PM »
Maybe. But denying people painkillers because you believe in the dignity of suffering is fucked up whichever way you want to slice it, and denying that aspect of her is to wilfully fail to see things in the whole.

I'm not sure where you are getting that or if the source is even legitimate. 

Offline Missy

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2016, 03:12:43 PM »
I might point out that religions also aren't known for being particularly objective.

Irregardless it makes little difference, it's just who religious people want to be their heroes or not and the rest of us just have to let be on the news or ignore it if it doesn't bear any pertinence to us.

Like all things it is what it is whatever it really is or is not.

Offline Humble Scribe

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2016, 03:14:23 PM »
I'm not sure where you are getting that or if the source is even legitimate. 

This article has most of the links, including to the Lancet piece I mentioned.

This is the Canadian study, unfortunately in French, but I understand it to be pretty thorough.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2016, 03:16:42 PM »
Oh.  Those.  I see where your information came from and now I understand.

Offline Gadifriald

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2016, 03:37:29 PM »
This article has most of the links, including to the Lancet piece I mentioned.

This is the Canadian study, unfortunately in French, but I understand it to be pretty thorough.
I did not go link clinking much, however, that Salon article by its very tone and the clear opinions of the author was a piece biased toward Mother Theresa, religion and pretty much the whole Western World!

Offline Humble Scribe

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2016, 04:02:11 PM »
I did not go link clinking much, however, that Salon article by its very tone and the clear opinions of the author was a piece biased toward Mother Theresa, religion and pretty much the whole Western World!

"I didn't read the articles, many written from the eyewitness testimony of medical professionals, and therefore feel safe in dimissing them completely."

Fair enough. Lots of people didn't believe there was child abuse going on in Catholic ophanages either.

It may not sound like it, but I really don't have much of an axe to grind here. Just that - if the only things you've ever heard about Mother Theresa are good things, remember that the Church has a very efficient media management operation and is very good at burying stories it doesn't like. These things I've posted may be outliers - a few random snipes by people. Or they may be the tip of an iceberg that didn't get reported for the very same reason you're dismissing them now. But don't be too quick to simply handwave things away because they don't fall into your own preconceptions. That's cognitive bias. Robin Fox, the former editor of the Lancet, wasn't some lone crazy who hates the church - he was a highly respected senior doctor and clinician, and if he had misgivings, it's wrong to simply dismiss them just because of some woolly feeling that Mother Theresa was basically on the side of the angels. Maybe she was, but these concerns are valid ones and deserve more than a simple wave of the hand.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 04:16:35 PM by Humble Scribe »

Offline Gadifriald

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2016, 04:24:49 PM »
"I didn't read the articles, many written from the eyewitness testimony of medical professionals, and therefore feel safe in dimissing them completely."

Fair enough. Lots of people didn't believe there was child abuse going on in Catholic ophanages either.
Cute little trick with putting your opinions of my statement in a false quote...really cute...I am most impressed...really...your dismissal of others opinions is truly remarkable...

I read the entirety of the Salon article despite it trying to crash my browser repeatedly and it was clearly written by an author who had a clear agenda against the subject of the article. I did not read the Canadian study as I do not read French well enough to do so as my education in that language and especially Québécois is limited. I am not Catholic and personally do not know how much truth there is behind allegations of the failings of the charity set up by Mother Theresa and the quality or lack thereof of the medical care provided in over 600 clinics spread across many countries. However, allegations of secret baptisms sounds like the kind of unsubstantiated rumors that often get thrown around in countries where foreign religious organizations or even secular charities operate. The medical care failings may well be true and happened in a massive organization in a time when Mother Theresa herself was a very old woman. I, who am an agnostic spiritualist, have no opinion on Sainthood but have always admired the lifetime that Mother Theresa dedicated in service to the poor and when she passed and over a million of the locals whom she had worked to help turned out for her funeral, the candle she lit against the dark glowed bright that day!

Online Oniya

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2016, 05:51:17 PM »
"I didn't read the articles, many written from the eyewitness testimony of medical professionals, and therefore feel safe in dimissing them completely."

To be fair, the Lancet article is locked behind a pay-wall.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2016, 01:59:59 AM »
Only because it was mentioned earlier, here's a video clip by Hitchens that's critical of Theresa.

I don't really agree with the views in this clip as they tend to accuse of her having a very large scale agenda. I'm not convinced that she was out to build an empire or anything grand like that or that her work with the poor was some sort of narcissistic scheme. She was a nun, and she tried to convert people to her religion, but that's kind of goes hand in hand with being a religious missionary. The dirty side to missionary work is trading compassion and care for religious conversion of those who are in a very vulnerable position ( and thus, are more likely to convert ). I would say it's fair to assume that both motivations were present, but that's not necessarily bad.

Perhaps a better question to ask is whether or not the people who she cared for benefited from the service she provided. You could argue that the medical attention was sub par, but was it better than nothing at all? My understanding is that the people she treated were generally those who people wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. ( that's about 3 meters for our friends in the UK )



Offline Renegade Vile

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2016, 05:15:21 PM »
I didn't even know she wasn't a Saint yet. Though I have heard discussions on whether someone should be granted the status or not take a very long time, so it makes sense I suppose.
As for how people regard her here in Belgium, it's nearly universally in a positive light, but no to a saintly, unblemished extent. She just gets recognized for charitable work but isn't really brought up much. There are a few charity organizations active that either use her name/likeness or just make frequent mention of her, but I can't even remember the last time I saw any of them given any mainstream attention.

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2016, 05:23:06 PM »
Perhaps a better question to ask is whether or not the people who she cared for benefited from the service she provided. You could argue that the medical attention was sub par, but was it better than nothing at all? My understanding is that the people she treated were generally those who people wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. ( that's about 3 meters for our friends in the UK )

The vast majority of the people who ended their days in her hospices were either entirely homeless or slum dwellers. People may recoil in horror at stories of not having painkillers, but that's first-world thought; to them, having a real bed and being clean, dry and warm in their last days was untold luxury. (Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a fascinating read if you are interested in Indian slum life; opposite side of the country from Mother Teresa, same issues.)

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2016, 11:17:13 AM »
The vast majority of the people who ended their days in her hospices were either entirely homeless or slum dwellers. People may recoil in horror at stories of not having painkillers, but that's first-world thought; to them, having a real bed and being clean, dry and warm in their last days was untold luxury. (Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a fascinating read if you are interested in Indian slum life; opposite side of the country from Mother Teresa, same issues.)

So what you're saying is, that because they had it marginally better than before, Mother Theresa's work was good? She refused to give people pain relief. Not because there was none, but because she wanted, no needed them, to suffer.

To take a bit of a tangent on an analogy. Imagine I find an abandoned puppy in the woods. The little creature is malnourished and sick from living out in the wet forest. I take the creature home, and lock it in a doghouse with a bowl of water and a tiny bit of kibble, but don't attend to its medical problem, not because I can't afford to, but simply because I feel dogs should feel pain and suffering.

Am I then a saint, or simply an animal abuser?

Mother Theresa had the means to help ease these people's suffering. But instead she decided to only elongate this suffering by giving them just enough care that they would die less quickly.
Yet when she got sick herself, there was no talk of pain and suffering being what god wanted. She was flown to a private medical facility in the States. Given the best care, and all the care to ease her suffering. Paid for, might I add, by money that was supposed to be used for the sick people of India.

She was like that one kid that is only really happy when torturing animals.

Mother Theresa is given sainthood for being a sadist and a hypocrite, and people wonder why so many are leaving the Catholic church.

Personally, I do not believe in the whole pervert old man on a cloud thing, but if I did, I'd know that even he would make this woman suffer for her actions.

Perhaps a better question to ask is whether or not the people who she cared for benefited from the service she provided. You could argue that the medical attention was sub par, but was it better than nothing at all? My understanding is that the people she treated were generally those who people wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. ( that's about 3 meters for our friends in the UK )

Feet are a relatively common unit of measurement in the UK.

As for your actual question. Was her medical attention better than none at all? Many people came to her sick and in pain, and often with no real chance of getting better without medication. On the street they might have survived weeks or months, and died in agony. Mother Theresa's care meant clean beds, warm food, but no actual treatment of the ailment. And her insistence that suffering was part of God's plan, meant that these people, as I said above, were denied pain relief medication, despite it actually being available to her to distribute. Whether that care was better than dying on the street is a good question indeed.

The mentality that Mother Theresa had though, fits right in with other high ranking people in the Catholic church. Remember pope Ratzinger, who in 2009 claimed that contraception, like condoms Led to the spread of Aids, or Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham who said that child abuse victims were culpable, and even called them acomplices while under oath. (Yes, he later backtracked, but never took back his words or apologised for saying them. He only apologised for his words causing harm. Quite a distinction)

Now I don't mean to imply that every Catholic, or even every clergyman is evil. But the fact that this kind of behaviour is not only allowed to take place, but is practised by ranking members of the organisation, in some cases even leading to canonisation. (Where cannonisation is so much more appropriate) is a huge cause for concern.

And if you think the new pope is so wonderful, think of how he Held a tirade on unbridled capitalism While being the head of a multibillion dollar organisation that made most of its money by practises that by their own admission included swindle, blackmail and extortion.

Sorry for going off on a tangent, but in conclusion. The canonisation of Mother Theresa is a disgrace, but it is par for the course for the Catholic church.

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2016, 12:41:08 PM »
Unless and until you walk a mile in the shoes of the missionary and research all there is available instead of articles written with a bias against a subject you really have no way to justify an opinion of your own.

You are, of course, entitled to any opinion you wish to hold, however, opinions based on fact rather than the opinions of others get respect.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2016, 12:52:01 PM »
You are of course correct. However the sources I base myself on are quite clear, and not all written with bias against her. I'll admit some of my commentary is sharp, but when I'm back in the office, and not suffering from paywalls to medical journals, I will provide my sources.

As for walking in other people's shoes. If she believed in her methods, then why did she use her charity's funds to seek help in the US instead of relying on her own methods she believed in so strongly?
I know you cannot answer that as nor can anyone truly, but it does present a rather interesting question. Why were anaelgetics not allowed for the poor people of Calcutta, but when it was her that was in pain, god was suddenly for it?

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2016, 01:27:47 PM »
I won't try to convince you because you have already made up your mind.  I'll simply pray for you as she would have.


Offline RedRose

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2016, 07:13:05 AM »
In France it seems to me that people either see her as "great but not unblemished", or as that person who traded painkillers/meds for conversion.
I spent some time in India (the first days locked up in the hotel and refusing to face the reality of life there - and it wasn't quite my first "non Western" trip). I will agree that just being clean and fed and in a bed is something MANY people do not have. You have swarms of street children begging around. You have the pilgrims who sold everything for their journey and sleep on the street too. There is no politically correct including with the very educated ones who speak perfect English and French and work corporate jobs. I was often at a loss for words and I don't come from a PC country nor from PC circles inside that non-PC country. It is a thing to get fitted for custom clothes and they proudly show you their workers that include kids that sometimes work overnight.  It is a thing for bosses to show you a worker with bloodied hands and brag about how hard he works. In a way the countryside is better, when they have food - but apart from the fact that most of them speak English I'd say not much has changed there in last centuries (?).
So, yeah.

Mostly Mother T isn't really a big topic (anymore?) in France.

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2016, 07:28:44 AM »
So what you're saying is, that because they had it marginally better than before, Mother Theresa's work was good? She refused to give people pain relief. Not because there was none, but because she wanted, no needed them, to suffer.

To take a bit of a tangent on an analogy. Imagine I find an abandoned puppy in the woods. The little creature is malnourished and sick from living out in the wet forest. I take the creature home, and lock it in a doghouse with a bowl of water and a tiny bit of kibble, but don't attend to its medical problem, not because I can't afford to, but simply because I feel dogs should feel pain and suffering.

Am I then a saint, or simply an animal abuser?

Mother Theresa had the means to help ease these people's suffering. But instead she decided to only elongate this suffering by giving them just enough care that they would die less quickly.
Yet when she got sick herself, there was no talk of pain and suffering being what god wanted. She was flown to a private medical facility in the States. Given the best care, and all the care to ease her suffering. Paid for, might I add, by money that was supposed to be used for the sick people of India.

She was like that one kid that is only really happy when torturing animals.

Mother Theresa is given sainthood for being a sadist and a hypocrite, and people wonder why so many are leaving the Catholic church.

Personally, I do not believe in the whole pervert old man on a cloud thing, but if I did, I'd know that even he would make this woman suffer for her actions.

I have no dog in this fight; she's not a saint in my tradition. She did according to her lights, like everyone else. Perhaps she made things only a little better for the people she dealt with, while she had the power to make things a lot better, but that's still more than most of us are willing to do. If that's not enough for you, then don't honour her. Simple.

Also, I find it extremely interesting that you take exception to her being a saint - a strictly spiritual accolade that you don't even believe in - but not to her being a Nobel Prize laureate, which brought along some very material perks.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2016, 08:56:08 AM »
Wow, that is a whole lot of anger over an old woman.  Also your analogy is a bit flawed.  Mother Theresa did not have one puppy to bring for medical treatment.  She had many more to treat and tend to which is down played with that example.  Were someone to find twelve puppies left out and sick, then people would not judge them so harshly for not having the ability or resources to have them completely tended.  Hell that person would be applauded for even bringing them home, providing them a warm bed with food and drinkable water so that they might at least die in some comfort.  Seems to me many people are judging her from a first world perspective when she barely had the ability to provide Third World comforts.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2016, 02:20:09 AM »
Yes pumpkin, except she did have the means. She had the means to give them ease from their suffering. She publicly claimed however that she would not ease this suffering as it was part of god's plan.

Yet when she was the one in pain, she used money, that was meant not for her but for her charges, to get top notch medical care and pain relief in a private US hospital.

Lilias, I do take exception to that, but the discussion was about her canonisation.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2016, 06:00:56 AM »
What source do you have that she had the means to distribute pain medication in enough quantities to take care of the pain and suffering of all those in her care?

Offline Clown without Clothes

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2017, 01:02:10 AM »
It's easy to bash Mother Theresa given that it is in vogue at the moment. But keep in mind she helped people in a country where if you are born poor you are considered "Untouchable" and that you are being punished for sins committed in a past life. A rather convenient belief system to rid yourself of the burden of helping anyone, especially if you are well off.

So for whatever mistakes she might have made, and she did question her own faith at times too. She did some good work for people who were neglected by their own country and system.

Online Vekseid

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2017, 03:58:45 AM »
We may never know her exact means, but she had a significant chunk of a billion dollars. Keating alone donated millions.

It's easy to bash Mother Theresa given that it is in vogue at the moment. But keep in mind she helped people in a country where if you are born poor you are considered "Untouchable" and that you are being punished for sins committed in a past life. A rather convenient belief system to rid yourself of the burden of helping anyone, especially if you are well off.

So for whatever mistakes she might have made, and she did question her own faith at times too. She did some good work for people who were neglected by their own country and system.

What did she do to help those people?

What solid evidence is there that Mother Teresa did anything good for those under her care during her life?




Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2017, 04:38:33 AM »
Not sure the sort of solid evidence you will be looking for here Vekseid.  I don't think they handed out patient satisfaction surveys at her hospice clinics.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2017, 05:59:07 AM »
No, but studies were done into the quality of her Hospices.

This article sums up one pretty comprehensive Study of her methods and her Hospices.

She didn't relieve the pain of her patients, many of her hospices were dirty, unhygienic and relatively poorly funded. For example, a lot of them had no medically trained individuals despite Teresa's funding (According to Robin Fox, anyway), and she would frequently forgo actual medical care for both "Miracles" and letting them suffer (Like, she once told Christopher Hitchens that “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" ). She endorsed various dictators and criminals, and despite the HUGE amounts of funding she received, apparently very little of it reached the poor it was supposed to help. She baptised desperate, dying folk against their will - which even if I don't personally think it does anything, it is still a HUGE violation of their rights and their trust - and only used her charity as a front for missionary missions. Like, many of her facilities never actually housed any locals; they were just bases for proselytising.

She most certainly does NOT deserve her Sainthood, or any applause whatsoever. Whether she thought she was in the right or not is irrelevant; in the end, she caused her patients far more harm than good, so far as the evidence suggests.

I'm sorry, Clown, but you're wrong. She helped very, very few people and those who DID get attention at her hospices received little in the way of pain relief or actual medical treatment. She might have thought she was doing good...but she was wrong.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 06:00:45 AM by Vergil Tanner »

Offline Scribbles

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2017, 06:23:42 AM »
She didn't relieve the pain of her patients, many of her hospices were dirty, unhygienic and relatively poorly funded.

I've heard conflicting stories on this. While many articles maintain that her care was amateurish, seeing as the volunteers were hardly taught the basics on medical care with some of the worse cases involving those with communicable illnesses not being isolated or needles not being sterilized properly, I've found that there appears to be a consensus that the hospice was kept very clean; even amongst her detractors.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 06:26:57 AM by Scribbles »

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2017, 06:26:52 AM »
Perhaps I should have said "Some." It really depends - obviously - on where the Hospice was located. Different standards for different places, and all that.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2017, 07:03:54 AM »
Perhaps I should have said "Some." It really depends - obviously - on where the Hospice was located. Different standards for different places, and all that.

Fair enough, I'm neither for or against Theresa but, depending on how thin she stretched herself, I can imagine her organisation finding it difficult to maintain perfect standards in all their hospices. Even public hospitals, funded far more than Theresa could ever have dreamed of, with actual medical professionals, struggle to keep a proper environment for medical care. There's a chance she had to ask whether her "help" should focus on quality or quantity.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2017, 07:47:06 AM »
No, I don't think it's that at all. She only had 500 Hospices (I think) and had access to millions of dollars a year. And this was in the 70's and 80's when a dollar went a lot further. It wasn't that she couldn't afford medication, it's that she actively preached against painkillers and the like. And considering how many Hospices she had, her coverage of the sick should have been much higher than it was. It isn't that expensive to make up a simple broth for the homeless and buy basic medication for the sick, especially not with charity and bulk budgets, and the amount of money she had access to...which she spent on herself, or in donations to the church, I would wager. On my phone so I can't google that right now, unfortunately.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #43 on: March 17, 2017, 09:06:36 AM »
She had 517 hospice clinics in addition to shelters and food distribution center if I remember correctly.  Saying only 500 is a bit of an over simplification I imagine.  I would be willing to bet those 517 saw way more than they were intended to see and probably had quite an overflow population.  As for hygiene and conditions, I believe this was pointed out earlier that this may be a classic case of first world physicians coming to pass judgement on third world conditions.  How long would a multi-million dollar facility have remained open to the impoverished of that country I wonder.  Do you honestly believe a facility with state of the art facilities, highly trained personnel and plentiful access to medications would have been allowed to remain in the hands of a charity group?  I think the United Nations can attest to how difficult even getting food to poor regions of a country can be so imagine the difficulty in importing thousands of vials of morphine.  People hear millions and imagine that a hospital could be run with such a sum but keep in mind that a single medical-surgical floor has a budget of over several hundred thousand dollars.  Places with higher levels of care easily break into the millions marker and so forth.

I don't know if she was a saint or not, but I do question how much of this is beating on a dead woman that was trying to help versus being fairly critical.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #44 on: March 17, 2017, 09:18:36 AM »
No, I don't think it's that at all. She only had 500 Hospices (I think) and had access to millions of dollars a year. And this was in the 70's and 80's when a dollar went a lot further. It wasn't that she couldn't afford medication, it's that she actively preached against painkillers and the like. And considering how many Hospices she had, her coverage of the sick should have been much higher than it was. It isn't that expensive to make up a simple broth for the homeless and buy basic medication for the sick, especially not with charity and bulk budgets, and the amount of money she had access to...which she spent on herself, or in donations to the church, I would wager. On my phone so I can't google that right now, unfortunately.

Even if you had google, you wouldn't find your answer, since Theresa's organization (Missionary of Charities) never published the amount they received in donations, contrary to what is/was required by Indian law. This is also what opened the door to so much conjecture regarding the handling of donations.

Also, I think you're selling her group a little short as they operated outside of India in over a hundred different countries, so they were funding far more than the five hundred hospices you mentioned alone. Millions of dollars is a drop in the ocean when taking that into account. And as a reminder, when "The Lancet" conducted their investigation, they were comparing the fairly high quality conditions of a developed nation to those of a developing one, so I still feel that it's possible that her group overextended themselves in an effort to provide more care as opposed to better care...

Again, I'm not holding the torch for Theresa and I find the fact that they didn't publicise donations and spending to be worrying. I also don't know enough about Theresa or her organization that would make me want to judge whether she was good or evil, especially considering information was hardly as easy to record or come by back then, meaning we're all working off possibly biased or incorrect data, or we're simply reading data in such a way to suit our perspectives, ignorant of what the situation may have been back then.

Personally, I have a strange mix of feelings on this current trend to demonize past heroes. On the one hand, I really appreciate that people are able to look at a supposed hero and not be blinded to their possible flaws (something that infuriatingly happens today far too often, with current "heroes"), and yet I can't help but also think, "Aww, do we have to get all analytical, can't we just have nice things!" :P

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2017, 09:30:35 AM »
When someone gets the kind of notice Mother Theresa received, the attention of a world-known figure like Princess Diana, the cause that person works for is brought to our attention.  We are then given the ability to intercede and contribute.  We have the choice and if we don't take it that is on us.  No matter how little we have, no matter what the state of our own health, no matter the needs that make life difficult for us, we are still better off than others and are given the opportunity to be a benefactor.

Do you walk, unseeing, past the homeless?  Do you turn off the news story about the abused child?  Do you shrug off the needs of the victims of crime and government attacks?  Do you actively make the choice between helping and ignoring, telling yourself you have nothing to give?  Mother Theresa had nothing to give until she started showing the world where giving was needed.  Some of us helped her and some of us didn't.  But she took our offerings to help others and make the world a better place for all of us.

What we do for the least of those in need from our own limited resources is more than the tithe of a wealthy person who doesn't miss the few coins they throw at the feet of the destitute.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 09:32:17 AM by Beguile's Mistress »

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2017, 11:36:50 AM »
She had 517 hospice clinics in addition to shelters and food distribution center if I remember correctly.  Saying only 500 is a bit of an over simplification I imagine.  I would be willing to bet those 517 saw way more than they were intended to see and probably had quite an overflow population.

Well, I DID mention that I was on my phone, so I knew it was somewhere around 500.
But as I mentioned in my earlier post, studies suggest that only a fraction of those actually saw any populace outreach at all. Not many people actually got treated at her instillations, and those poorly.


As for hygiene and conditions, I believe this was pointed out earlier that this may be a classic case of first world physicians coming to pass judgement on third world conditions.

No, they were passing judgement on a woman who had access to first world supplies and funding.


How long would a multi-million dollar facility have remained open to the impoverished of that country I wonder.  Do you honestly believe a facility with state of the art facilities, highly trained personnel and plentiful access to medications would have been allowed to remain in the hands of a charity group?

I dunno. Ask Doctors Without Borders and The Red Cross.


I think the United Nations can attest to how difficult even getting food to poor regions of a country can be so imagine the difficulty in importing thousands of vials of morphine.

Here's the thing. If the reason she didn't give out medication was because she was prevented by funding and logistical issues, then I wouldn't be being so harsh. The simple fact of the matter is, Mother Teresa herself said that painkillers were not to be used because she believed that suffering brought you closer to God. It wasn't an act of logistical necessity, it was an act of a woman who didn't want to ease their pain. She even said so herself, on multiple occasions. THAT is why I am being so harsh in this regard.


People hear millions and imagine that a hospital could be run with such a sum but keep in mind that a single medical-surgical floor has a budget of over several hundred thousand dollars.  Places with higher levels of care easily break into the millions marker and so forth.

I know that, but her facilities aren't that. Nobody is denying that it's difficult, but somehow other charities at the time - with far less exposure than her - managed it. Is it so much to ask that a single-floor Hospice be kept relatively clean, that they be given a fair amount of painkillers and that they shouldn't be taken advantage of and converted in a moment of weakness and desperation?


I don't know if she was a saint or not, but I do question how much of this is beating on a dead woman that was trying to help versus being fairly critical.

I think I am being entirely fairly critical. The things I am criticising her for are things that she actually did. I have no doubt that she genuinely believed that she was helping...I'm just saying that she did some abhorrent and immoral things that should rightly be criticised, especially if she's been made a saint.


I still feel that it's possible that her group overextended themselves in an effort to provide more care as opposed to better care...

Except that Teresa herself said - as I mentioned above - that the suffering of the poor was beautiful and that the poor should accept their lot. If she didn't have the money, she would have said "Funds are tight but we do what we can." Instead, she said "The poor should accept their lot; they are suffering just as Christ suffered and I think that is a beautiful thing." (I'm paraphrasing a little).
This is a woman who told her nurses not to give out painkillers because she believed that painkillers should not be given out.


Again, I'm not holding the torch for Theresa and I find the fact that they didn't publicise donations and spending to be worrying.

Exactly. I find that extremely worrying indeed. I would very much like to see that information.


Personally, I have a strange mix of feelings on this current trend to demonize past heroes. On the one hand, I really appreciate that people are able to look at a supposed hero and not be blinded to their possible flaws (something that infuriatingly happens today far too often, with current "heroes"), and yet I can't help but also think, "Aww, do we have to get all analytical, can't we just have nice things!" :P

Not when such nice things are not actually real. Not when they're built on a lie. I have no doubt that she believed that she was helping...but glorifying a woman who in fact increased the suffering of her charges and took advantage of her position and power to "Stealth convert" people under the guise of providing medical aid? I abhor it just as I abhor the nature of organisations like the AA, who take vulnerable people and build their new sense of self worth entirely around religion. Regardless of whether that religion is true or not...taking advantage of people in a vulnerable position in such a cynical way is morally reprehensible.


When someone gets the kind of notice Mother Theresa received, the attention of a world-known figure like Princess Diana, the cause that person works for is brought to our attention.  We are then given the ability to intercede and contribute.  We have the choice and if we don't take it that is on us.  No matter how little we have, no matter what the state of our own health, no matter the needs that make life difficult for us, we are still better off than others and are given the opportunity to be a benefactor.

Do you walk, unseeing, past the homeless?  Do you turn off the news story about the abused child?  Do you shrug off the needs of the victims of crime and government attacks?  Do you actively make the choice between helping and ignoring, telling yourself you have nothing to give?  Mother Theresa had nothing to give until she started showing the world where giving was needed.  Some of us helped her and some of us didn't.  But she took our offerings to help others and make the world a better place for all of us.

What we do for the least of those in need from our own limited resources is more than the tithe of a wealthy person who doesn't miss the few coins they throw at the feet of the destitute.

I strongly disagree. She put a roof over their heads, yes, but she also denied them painkillers, denied them proper medical care, and actively supported several rather brutal regimes.
I would take your money and give it to the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders instead. Because honestly? Mother Teresa is certainly not a Saint, and she certainly did not make the poors lives much better. They were given roofs over their heads (some of them, anyway), but with the exposure and funding she had? She could have done much, much better for them.

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #47 on: March 17, 2017, 12:02:29 PM »
Well, I DID mention that I was on my phone, so I knew it was somewhere around 500.
But as I mentioned in my earlier post, studies suggest that only a fraction of those actually saw any populace outreach at all. Not many people actually got treated at her instillations, and those poorly.


No, they were passing judgement on a woman who had access to first world supplies and funding.


I dunno. Ask Doctors Without Borders and The Red Cross.


Here's the thing. If the reason she didn't give out medication was because she was prevented by funding and logistical issues, then I wouldn't be being so harsh. The simple fact of the matter is, Mother Teresa herself said that painkillers were not to be used because she believed that suffering brought you closer to God. It wasn't an act of logistical necessity, it was an act of a woman who didn't want to ease their pain. She even said so herself, on multiple occasions. THAT is why I am being so harsh in this regard.


I know that, but her facilities aren't that. Nobody is denying that it's difficult, but somehow other charities at the time - with far less exposure than her - managed it. Is it so much to ask that a single-floor Hospice be kept relatively clean, that they be given a fair amount of painkillers and that they shouldn't be taken advantage of and converted in a moment of weakness and desperation?


I think I am being entirely fairly critical. The things I am criticising her for are things that she actually did. I have no doubt that she genuinely believed that she was helping...I'm just saying that she did some abhorrent and immoral things that should rightly be criticised, especially if she's been made a saint.


Except that Teresa herself said - as I mentioned above - that the suffering of the poor was beautiful and that the poor should accept their lot. If she didn't have the money, she would have said "Funds are tight but we do what we can." Instead, she said "The poor should accept their lot; they are suffering just as Christ suffered and I think that is a beautiful thing." (I'm paraphrasing a little).
This is a woman who told her nurses not to give out painkillers because she believed that painkillers should not be given out.


Exactly. I find that extremely worrying indeed. I would very much like to see that information.


Not when such nice things are not actually real. Not when they're built on a lie. I have no doubt that she believed that she was helping...but glorifying a woman who in fact increased the suffering of her charges and took advantage of her position and power to "Stealth convert" people under the guise of providing medical aid? I abhor it just as I abhor the nature of organisations like the AA, who take vulnerable people and build their new sense of self worth entirely around religion. Regardless of whether that religion is true or not...taking advantage of people in a vulnerable position in such a cynical way is morally reprehensible.


I strongly disagree. She put a roof over their heads, yes, but she also denied them painkillers, denied them proper medical care, and actively supported several rather brutal regimes.
I would take your money and give it to the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders instead. Because honestly? Mother Teresa is certainly not a Saint, and she certainly did not make the poors lives much better. They were given roofs over their heads (some of them, anyway), but with the exposure and funding she had? She could have done much, much better for them.

Check the sources of those studies.  Usually, when criticism of this sort is broadcast, it comes from questionable origins because of personal agendas of the broadcasters.

It is also easy to attach someone who isn't available to reply; as well as being cowardly.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 12:03:44 PM by Beguile's Mistress »

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #48 on: March 17, 2017, 12:16:50 PM »
Check the sources of those studies.  Usually, when criticism of this sort is broadcast, it comes from questionable origins because of personal agendas of the broadcasters.

I did. They seem to be legit; the people who conducted the study don't really seem to have any benefit in painting her in a particular way, and they did grant her some positive points as well.


It is also easy to attach someone who isn't available to reply; as well as being cowardly.

So we should stop criticising somebody when they're dead? I disagree. If we're going to celebrate them, we should also be able to criticise them. It isn't cowardly to look back at their life and say "Well, they did do X, Y and Z which were pretty abhorrent."
I mean, by your own logic, all of historical study is cowardly, because it's talking about and critiquing people who have no chance to speak back. Their actions spoke louder than they ever could, and it is up to us to decide what those actions say about the individual. I reject out of hand the notion that a critical analysis of somebodies life, especially when they're up for an honourific of any kind, is cowardly.

It's also easy to dismiss sources as "bias" without having read through them. Do you deny, for example, that Teresa didn't give her charges painkillers? That she said that the suffering of the poor was beautiful and should be celebrated? That she encouraged her nurses to secretly baptise dying patients? That she endorsed Enver Hoxha, or provided a character witness for fraudster Charles Keating, suspiciously after he donated literally millions to her organisation and allowed her to use his private jet? Or that she suggested Licio Gelli's Nobel Prize nomination? That supposedly, only a few hundred people were ever serviced by her hospices, in total? That her nurses did not distinguish between curable and incurable patients, putting those who could be saved at risk of infection and death through lack of treatment? That many of the needles used weren't sterilised?

And this information comes both from Studies, official visits by physicians and former volunteers of her organisation. Some of them may have an axe to grind, but there comes a point where the testimonies become so overwhelming that it's either true, or a grand conspiracy. And which one is the explanation that requires the fewest assumptions?

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2017, 12:21:52 PM »
Don't read you own philosophy into my words.  Sometimes a pencil is only a pencil.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #50 on: March 17, 2017, 12:25:05 PM »
I'm reading what I believe to be the implications in your words. If I've misunderstood your intended meaning, then please, do clarify! I would hate to be guilty of erecting a strawman, even unknowingly.

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #51 on: March 17, 2017, 01:06:55 PM »
Attempting to analyze what you think someone is saying without actually reading the words in front of you usually works against a person.  It's easy to try to read between lines that don't exist if you are the type who implies rather than states.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #52 on: March 17, 2017, 01:42:45 PM »
Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders don't own or act as administrators to any hospitals Vergil.  They work out of hospitals already established and support them when able to but they do not build actual hospitals.  The Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders will setup temporary clinics and field hospitals when necessary, but I doubt you will find people commenting on their hygiene practices.  Mother Theresa established hospice clinics for her patients.  While you say she had access to first world funding and supplies, she was still operating out of a country with unbelievable poverty and handling their most impoverished. 

Also the articles say she did administer pain medication.  Perhaps she did not administer as much as people would like, but considering the United States is now having to admit that their own patients are over medicated with pain medication ours may not be the best judge.  The people she dealt with had access to no medical care, no pain medication, no housing and no food.  She gave them a roof and food, which is more than any one else.  When able, it seems, pain medicine and medical care was given.  Spiritual counseling was given and I have read disputing accounts that other religions were serviced at her locations.  We are holding her hospice clinics to first world standards once more.  Did she provide care that say I would expect, no.  Did she provide better care than her patients would receive anywhere else accessible to them, yes.  They were better off for her being there.

What is she supposed to tell people that are suffering?  Wow that sucks for you?  Of course she says that suffering for Jesus is beautiful, that they are reaching a deeper understanding of God in their suffering.  If you have ever held someone's hand while they lay suffering and dying, seen the fear in their eyes and in the eyes of their families as they look to you for something, anything to make them purposeful than you might understand.

Which charity organizations were offering that many hospice clinics to western standards?  The United States at that time wasn't paying for the elderly to have more than 30 days of hospice care.  Quite literally a doctor in the United States had to sign off that you were dead in a couple of weeks no matter what before they would consider funding hospice care during that time. 

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #53 on: March 17, 2017, 02:30:46 PM »
I just read an article about the dirtiest cities in the world, most or all of them in the part of the world where Mother Theresa ministered to the poor and sick. 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/15-dirtiest-cities-in-the-world/ss-AAndIk1?li=BBnb7Kz&OCID=AVRES007

In a place where no one took care of anyone until she came along how can anyone criticize her for giving all she had to all who needed?

I do get weary when people who wouldn't do a fraction of what she did complain about her.  Even if they spend their time helping instead of nitpicking it would be a benefit and more than what they already do, which is nothing.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #54 on: March 17, 2017, 11:23:52 PM »
Attempting to analyze what you think someone is saying without actually reading the words in front of you usually works against a person.  It's easy to try to read between lines that don't exist if you are the type who implies rather than states.

I don't think I care for this veiled insult. I asked you to clarify what you mean, because reading it, it isn't immediately clear. Are you saying that you refuse to clarify what you meant?


Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders don't own or act as administrators to any hospitals Vergil.  They work out of hospitals already established and support them when able to but they do not build actual hospitals.  The Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders will setup temporary clinics and field hospitals when necessary, but I doubt you will find people commenting on their hygiene practices.

I know they don't. My point was, they somehow managed to provide superior healthcare to Teresa, even though they had access to - at the time - less exposure (we don't know if they had less funding, because her organisation never released their donations or spending). We can assume it was fairly high, though, since she would often receive millions from one person as a private donation. DWB and RC keep their stuff relatively clean - including in more dirty, unhygienic countries - and are able to afford to give out painkillers and medication where necessary. My point was, if they can do it, surely Teresa had the resources to do it as well.


Mother Theresa established hospice clinics for her patients.  While you say she had access to first world funding and supplies, she was still operating out of a country with unbelievable poverty and handling their most impoverished.

Except she wasn't; studies suggest that only a handful of her clinics actually serviced the poor, whilst the others served as bases for proselytising.
 

Also the articles say she did administer pain medication.

Not the criticisms I've read. Most of the studies I've looked at - and direct quotes from her, and testimonies from former volunteers who worked at her clinics - say otherwise...and I'm inclined to believe the former volunteers, since they were there.


Perhaps she did not administer as much as people would like, but considering the United States is now having to admit that their own patients are over medicated with pain medication ours may not be the best judge.

Well, good thing I'm not American, then isn't it? :P
But still, even if I was, I would still be allowed to criticise, since I might disagree with over medication as well. You can disagree with what people are doing regardless of your country, so long as you acknowledge your own countries guilt. Also, "accused" is not the same as "guilty."


The people she dealt with had access to no medical care, no pain medication, no housing and no food.  She gave them a roof and food, which is more than any one else.

I won't deny that. I just criticise the standard of her health care as "She could have done more with what she had, and she didn't."


When able, it seems, pain medicine and medical care was given.

Which sources say that, sorry? The ones I've looked at say that she didn't, and she herself said that she didn't.


Spiritual counseling was given and I have read disputing accounts that other religions were serviced at her locations.

Yeah, to convert them. If by "Spiritual Counselling" you mean "Baptising dying people who didn't really understand the significance of baptising." There's a reason why we generally hold preaching to somebody by their bedside to be poor form.


We are holding her hospice clinics to first world standards once more.

I'm holding her to standards of common decency.


Did she provide care that say I would expect, no.  Did she provide better care than her patients would receive anywhere else accessible to them, yes.  They were better off for her being there.

Better off than in the streets, yes. I'm not saying she did no good whatsoever...I'm saying that the people she helped deserved better treatment, and she could have given them better treatment. Also, there are studies that suggest that she only ever serviced a few hundred people, whereas certain other charities in the area were serving something like 18000 meals to the poor and homeless a day.


What is she supposed to tell people that are suffering?  Wow that sucks for you?  Of course she says that suffering for Jesus is beautiful, that they are reaching a deeper understanding of God in their suffering.  If you have ever held someone's hand while they lay suffering and dying, seen the fear in their eyes and in the eyes of their families as they look to you for something, anything to make them purposeful than you might understand.

I reject that out of hand. This wasn't said TO the people, this was said in an interview with western journalists and media figures. I would expect her to say something like "The suffering of the poor is horrific, and I am doing all I can to lessen that suffering. People don't have to accept their pain; I understand their struggle and I am here to help and offer whatever comfort I can." That suggest empathy and sympathy. Saying that it's beautiful and that the poor should accept their lot is horrifically immoral. "Yeah, I know you're in pain and you're starving, but that's your place, so accept it."
Yeah, that's an amazing bedside manner.


Which charity organizations were offering that many hospice clinics to western standards?

Except they weren't really hospices. They were bases for missionaries, and they only ever served a few hundred people.


The United States at that time wasn't paying for the elderly to have more than 30 days of hospice care.  Quite literally a doctor in the United States had to sign off that you were dead in a couple of weeks no matter what before they would consider funding hospice care during that time. 

Again, good thing I'm English, with the NHS. So by your own logic, I am perfectly free to criticise, and the Americans aren't allowed to comment. ;) :P


I just read an article about the dirtiest cities in the world, most or all of them in the part of the world where Mother Theresa ministered to the poor and sick. 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/15-dirtiest-cities-in-the-world/ss-AAndIk1?li=BBnb7Kz&OCID=AVRES007

In a place where no one took care of anyone until she came along how can anyone criticize her for giving all she had to all who needed?

I do get weary when people who wouldn't do a fraction of what she did complain about her.  Even if they spend their time helping instead of nitpicking it would be a benefit and more than what they already do, which is nothing.

So what you're saying is, since I don't have the means to go over and do better myself, and because she was one of the only people over there, she is immune to criticism?

No.

If somebody is open to praise and adulation, they are also open to criticism, critique and analysis. You don't get to have it both ways.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #55 on: March 17, 2017, 11:29:46 PM »
I don't think I care for this veiled insult. I asked you to clarify what you mean, because reading it, it isn't immediately clear. Are you saying that you refuse to clarify what you meant?


As much as you don't want to believe it (or can't believe it since it doesn't parallel your way of things) I meant what I said.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #56 on: March 17, 2017, 11:38:32 PM »
As much as you don't want to believe it (or can't believe it since it doesn't parallel your way of things) I meant what I said.

Again with the insults.

Let me make this perfectly clear.

I apparently misunderstood what you meant when you first posted. So, I asked for a clarification; it isn't that I don't WANT to understand it (in fact, me asking for a clarification should suggest to you that I DO, in fact, wish to understand), it isn't that I "can't understand it because it doesn't agree with me," it's that I genuinely am not sure what the initial comment was supposed to mean, so I am asking you in good faith to expand and digress on what, precisely, you meant so I can better understand it.

When I ask for such a clarification, I do so because I genuinely am not sure what you meant and want to know so I don't end up arguing against a position you do not hold. Responding to those requests with insults and a condescending attitude does you no credit whatsoever. Contrary to what you may believe, it is entirely possible for people to misunderstand without ill intent, and it's possible that you weren't as clear as you thought you were.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 11:40:59 PM by Vergil Tanner »

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #57 on: March 18, 2017, 12:52:19 AM »
I don't understand what expanding and digressing have to do with anything.  I'm not even sure how to do it.  If you would ask a simple question in as few words as possible I'll be happy to give you a simple answer.  Other than that we need to be finished here.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #58 on: March 18, 2017, 01:12:36 AM »
You stated that I had misunderstood your initial comments. The question simply was " I don't understand what you meant, would you mind explaining?" You responded with veiled accusations of either doing so deliberately or being unable to do so because of my own personal biases.

Since you seem to be incapable of answering the question - which I have asked several times in a very clear manner - and have simply insulted me instead, I believe we are indeed done here. I hope you have a good day.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 01:14:06 AM by Vergil Tanner »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #59 on: March 18, 2017, 01:53:26 AM »
I think part of the problem when things like this come up is that there are multiple definitions of "Saint".  People say things like "Mother Theresa is no Saint" or "Mother Theresa doesn't deserve to be a Saint" and are using a secular meaning of saint which corresponds roughly to "someone who does solely good things" or "someone whose good deeds massively outweigh their bad ones".  Which is a perfectly justifiable usage of "saint".

However, there is another meaning (well, there are several.  Another relevant meaning) within Catholic theology and that is the one the Catholic Church uses when they recognise someone as a saint.  And it's a morally neutral word in that context - it's a recognition of devotion to the Catholic Church which doesn't necessarily overlap with a recognition of a perfectly moral life.  Look at the number of warrior saints, for example, or even the martyrs - I'll leave it up to you whether dying for one's religion is morally desirable or not but I think we can agree its not the sort of massive moral life that the secular meaning of "saint" presents.  Or people like Aquinas or Augustine - scholars and expounders of Church doctrine. 

So while I think it's reasonable to offer some criticism or praise of her or any other saint, I do think claims that she "doesn't deserve to be a saint" or isn't one come across as a little naive.  One wouldn't walk in to their local maths department and insist that "integral" means and only means "a necessary part of something".  When discussing the saints of the Catholic Church it seems reasonable to use the word in the way they mean it.

Also, Kythia's Fun Fact Theology Hour:  The Catholic Church doesn't proclaim or make someone a saint.  The Catholic Church acknowledges that someone is a saint.  Saint just means someone in heaven and thus able to directly intervene with God on a living person's behalf. 

Offline Noisekick

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #60 on: March 18, 2017, 09:33:44 AM »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #61 on: March 18, 2017, 11:46:33 AM »
Here's an article about her on Patheos. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2016/09/sadistic-religious-fanatic-mother-teresa-was-no-saint/

Wow, that is terribly written.  I have no idea whether its valid or not, but purely as a piece of writing...wow. 

Five sources, one of which is wikipedia.  Two separate shill links to the same Amazon product, the phrase "moral monster, a sadistic religious fanatic" repeated three times, if someone is one of the first their work isn't groundbreaking (and groundbreaking is all one word)...

and so on.

I'm genuinely not trying to argue for or against MT here, I really have no opinion on her at all.  And I get that writing skill doesn't render an argument invalid (though he doesn't really present a particularly strong argument).  I'm just astonished by how poor the writing is is all.

Offline Blythe

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #62 on: March 18, 2017, 12:11:26 PM »
For whether people think Mother Teresa was a saint or not (however one uses the word outside of the very specific Catholic definition), I think it depends on large part whether a person thinks that the allegations made by Dr. Chatterjee in his book The Final Verdict are valid. Or what Christopher Hitchens had to say about her in the documentary Hell's Angel and in his book The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice. They were two of the more prominent critics of her.

Online Oniya

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #63 on: March 18, 2017, 12:16:10 PM »
Just as a note, this thread was resurrected (after dying out in October of last year) by a person who makes a habit of trolling our Politics forum.  This makes the eighth time that he's been kicked out.

Feel free to continue the conversation in a civil manner.  I just thought you should be aware.

Offline WomanforChrist

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #64 on: April 04, 2017, 12:59:13 PM »
everyone will have people who will judge us based on one thing or another. Personally I love St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her work. I am so happy she is among the Saints in Heaven both recognized and unrecognized.

Offline blue bunny sparkle

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #65 on: July 31, 2017, 10:51:08 PM »
I have a friend who years ago went to Calcutta and volunteered with Mother Theresa's group for an extended time.

His "job" along with other duties was to go out and find people that were actively dying on the streets. The people that they found were in terrible shape, often diseased and covered with sores and so thin they weighed hardly anything. And from there the volunteers would carry them, in their arms, to the their clinics.

Anyone who begins a program like that, anyone who cares for such people, (and there are too few of them in the world), I would call a Saint. 

Offline Nyela

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #66 on: February 11, 2018, 12:17:56 PM »
agreed