Blogger “Rosa Rubicondior” has a blog posting which basically copies and pastes the late Christopher Hitchens’ poorly cited book, “The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice.”
In this book, Hitchen’s attempts to defame Blessed Mother Teresa by using appeal to authority and false cause. Atheists who are impressionable like Rubicondior obviously fall for this tactic. “Hey if it comes from Hitchens’ it must be true right?” Well… not quite.
“In this one, I’ll use the testimonies of those who witnessed Mother Theresa and her ‘Missionaries of Charity’ at work to contrast the reality with the myth of tender, loving care for the needs of the sick and dying which the Catholic Church and much of the uncritical media have assiduously manufactured.”
There is no “myth” in regards to Mother Teresa, nor was her global recognition as the model of altruism in the 20th century any manufactured occurrence instigated by the Catholic Church and/or the media. In reality, the fruits of Mother Teresa’s work is self evident. Unfortunately, like with any kind of good work, there will always be a minority who will find ways to criticize. If you open an orphanage some might accuse you of being a pedophile. If you open a soup kitchen, some might accuse you of stealing food paid for by tax dollars that is meant for the poor. I can go on and go, but I’m sure you get the point. These so-called “testimonies” are no different.
Notice, that the testimonies provided do not name particular sisters in the Missionaries of Charity. They are general accounts that no one can really verify. We are just left to accept them as true. One is of a doctor, others are from volunteers, and one is from a disgruntled “ex sister” Susan Shields. What proof do these individuals offer other than their account? Nothing at all.
Mother Teresa is a well respected person. A decade after her death she is still relevant and seen as the poster child of charity. Many nations welcomed her to their lands with great joy. India even gave her a state funeral which is something reserved for the highest dignitaries. She is held in high regard there, probably second only to Gandhi If the negative claims that these people make regarding her were true, why would India give Mother Teresa this honor?
It is obvious that these testimonies are bogus and must not be taken serious since they are not supplemented with evidence.
Susan Shields is obviously an individual who could not handle the religious life and now is speaking ill of it. This happens far too often. Religious nuns and brothers, even priests who leave sometimes leave with a chip on their shoulders. They could not handle the discipline and deflect their failure against the order or seminary they defaulted from.
In regards to Charles H. Keating, Jr, Mother Teresa wrote to the judge in a sincere way. She was a humble lady who saw things through the eyes of the Gospel. This is something Hitchens and others do not understand. Moreover, understanding the American judicial system, she had Keating as “innocent until proven guilty” in her mind. Keating gave her money which she used for the poor. I know of no charity that asks of the origin of money. Attorney Paul W. Turley’s request that she return the money is foolish and unrealistic.
- First, she did not know what Keating was doing or how he got the money.
- Second, Keating was most likely seen as innocent until proven guilty so she could not just hand over money without knowing what Keating’s status was in the judicial system,
- Third, I know of no law that states that charities have to return funds given to them that may have been obtained in a legal manner.
In every religion, one will find people of all walks of life. In Catholicism, Drug Dealers, Mafiosi, Gangsters, crooked Bankers and Politicians attend Mass. The clergy are not aware of this until a scandal involving the aforementioned is publicized in the media. To a priest at Mass, the people are just people. We do not know where they come from or who they really are. No one can observe covert behavior. That being said, donations given to Churches or any charity may or may not be legitimate. This is not the fault of the Church or charity. If a boss of a cosche in Palermo gives $50,000 eros to a local parish and the priest is not aware of this individual as belonging to this underworld, then what can be done? Is the priest greedy for money or an accomplice to the sins of the benefactor? No, of course not.
Running a religious order that cares for the poor is not inexpensive. Turley is foolish to think that Mother Teresa had the funds donated by Keating handy in a check ready to be reinbursed. Most likely, that money was spent the day it was deposited. In order to return it, she would have had to take money from another source. This would not be fair to those who gave that money for the work of the poor. Instead of asking her to return the money, it would have made more sense to get Keating to pay it back by selling his things as in the case of Benard Madoff whose mansions and other things were repossessed and sold. The money was then returned to his victims.
Rubicondior, Hitchens’ and company imply that Mother Teresa was this money hungry individual. That is far from the truth. The aforementioned are delusional for even suggesting such a calumny. Let’s say Mother Teresa was guilty of being a money hoarder, where are her mansions, her yachts, her expensive cars and motorcycles? The lady lived in strict poverty having only 2 habits, a bible, rosary and bucket to wash her habits. Her spirituality was very rigid – similar to that of St. Francis of Assisi. To my knowledge, the order has not broken any laws. They do their ministry under local laws and within the umbrella of the Catholic Church.
Hitchens’ even apologized for speaking ill of Mother Teresa. This is something Rubicondior left out. Atheist Brendan O’Neill even criticized Hitchens and the so-called “New Atheists” here: http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/7638/.
It seems that Hitchens and Rubicondior are envious that this tiny woman was able to do so much. She helped so many while Hitchens and Rubicondior – both self-proclaimed humanists – only provide vitriolic rhetoric that serves no purpose for humanity.
How did Hitchens help humanity? What is Rubicondior doing to help the poor? Rubicondior constantly spams twitter with mendicant pleas to buy from her blog with the claim that funds will go to charities. Where is the proof that these monies do go to the charities intended? Has any atheist who reads the blog bothered to ask for documentation?
Neither Hitchens or Rubicondior can wear Mother Teresa’s sandals, so to speak. She is a saint and inspired many to do good work, even British royals such as the late Diana.
Mother Teresa’s poem says it best: