Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta does not need defending, least of all, from me. In an article at the Filipino Freethinkers website entitled, “Mother Teresa: Blessed Billionaire, Holy Hypocrite” they take issue with the fact that the order of the Missionaries of Charity (MOC) that Mother Teresa founded have “billions”of dollars and that she chose instead to allow suffering to persist rather than spend the money to establish medical facilities to care for these people. I have already dealt with how people, with at least a rudimentary knowledge of organizations, know that handling money is a very tricky matter and must be prudently disbursed. In the case of religious orders, they are held within the bounds of their charism as to where and how to spend any donations given to them.
Many of the negative issues Tani raises are references he quotes from former MOC who have left for one reason or another, but commonly, because of some kind of disillusionment/disagreement with the way the order is run or, more specifically, how Mother ran the order. Everyone who ever has interacted within any type of organization will know that most everyone will have their ideas as to how best to do or run things. I will not criticize those who have left the MOC and have in one way or another criticized the MOC’s work or Mother Teresa’s character because it is difficult to second guess what their intentions are let alone contradict their opinion on the matter.
However, I will say this about the Red Tani and his intention for doing this article. Tani is not attacking the alleged hypocrisy he attributes to Mother Teresa (an unoriginal thought in itself, given that he only adapts this form the recently deceased Christopher Hithcens) but rather the Church… again! It is pure dishonesty to gloss over any work the church has done and concentrate on straw-man arguments like “the billions” of Tagle or Mother Teresa. This I think gets into the heart of the anti-Catholic crowd within the FFT which are out to arrogantly try prove that the Catholic faith is wrong by trying to defame the work of a few of her members.
I think it is sufficient to let the fruit of Mother Teresa’s work speak for itself:
Bl. Teresa started her work in 1948 in Calcutta by 1950, the MOC is established with 13 members and by 1997 there are over 4500 MOC sisters working in 133 countries around the world.
Awards and accolades given to Mother for her work in the service of humanity (from here):
1. Padma Shri award 1962: An award of distinguished social service.
2. Ramon Magsaysay award 1962
3. Pope John XXIII Peace Prize 1967
4. Pacem in Terris Award 1976
5. Companion of the Order of Australia in 1982
6. Order of Merit in 1983
7. Honorary citizenship of the United States November 1996
8. Numerous graduation commencement addresses including one in Harvard in 1982
There are many more accolades, awards and recognitions given to this saint-to-be from Albania and Calcutta not to mention the countless lives that she has influenced and help convert like Malcolm Muggeridge.
When Mother Teresa died, she was given a state burial by India with several thousand in attendance, the majority of whom were non-Catholics. At her beatification, there was an estimated four hundred thousand in attendance at St. Peter’s.
Did you get the last one on the list Mr. Tani… yup THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE, “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace.” Do you know what this means?