In a recent study by Canadian academics, the myth surrounding Mother Teresa as a humanitarian was largely a product of careful marketing, when in reality she housed the poor and sick in conditions that were less than sanitary even though she had access to virtually unlimited funds.
A report from The Times of India wrote that the authors of the study asserted Mother Teresa felt there was beauty in the suffering of the downtrodden and was far more willing to pray for them than provide practical medical care. There are many documented accounts of Mother Teresa referring to poverty and suffering as a “gift from God.”
Researchers say the Vatican conducted an aggressive PR campaign while simultaneously throwing aside suspicions about her financial dealings and associations — making sure the five year waiting period required for beatification reached its mark unscathed.
Serge Larivee, one of the researchers from the University of Montreal’s Department of Psychoeducation, wrote on the school’s website, “Given the parsimonious management of Mother Theresa’s works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone?”
According to the study, Mother Teresa had 517 missions in 100 countries at the time of her death, but there are documented accounts of many patients who were not cared for properly and many were left to die in poor conditions.
Researchers Carole Senechal of the University of Ottawa and Larivee and Genevieve Chenard from the University of Montreal reached their conclusions by examining close to all of the published works about Mother Teresa. Included in their research are the polemics of the late journalist and author Christopher Hitchens, who wrote numerous articles, a book, and produced a documentary (see video link below) — all based on his claim that Mother Teresa was a “fraud.”
You can hear from some of the researchers in the video below, via The Huffington Post.
Watch the 1994 Christopher Hitchens documentary on Mother Teresa in the video below.