Tag Archive for 'Mother Teresa'

Why they love to hate Mother Teresa

Brendan O’Neill at Spiked:

mother_teresa1Hating Mother Teresa has become a de rigueur dinner-party prejudice. As the Vatican speeds up its canonisation of Teresa, having already beatified her in 2003, feminists, atheists and liberal commentators are engaging in games of Teresa-denouncing one-upmanship, to see who can slate her in the shrillest, most outrageous terms. She was a ‘charlatan’ and a ‘master of her own mythology’, said Ian O’Doherty in the Irish Independent last week. No, she was a ‘wicked fundamentalist’, said a feminist contributor to a BBC TV debate last weekend. In fact she was a ‘disgusting fraud and a hypocrite’, says a columnist for the UK Independent, and ‘if there is a hell, Mother Teresa is already there’.

Much of this Teresa-baiting springs from the work of arch atheist Christopher Hitchens. In his 1995 book The Missionary Position, Hitchens described Mother Teresa as a ‘religious fundamentalist, a political operative, a primitive sermoniser and an accomplice of worldly secular powers’. He exposed her backward beliefs on poverty – it is ‘beautiful’, she said, and the poor should embrace it – and her shoulder-rubbing with dictators and other dodgy individuals. She should never have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, Hitchens said, or granted audiences with US presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, because she is little more than an ‘untouchable in the mental universe of the mediocre and the credulous’.

Of course, much of the criticism is justified. I am an atheist who has no truck with Mother Teresa and her kind. More:

Who was Sister Alphonsa?


Sister Alphonsa, an Indian Roman Catholic nun, was canonised on Sunday, October 12 at a ceremony at The Vatican. She was beatified in 1986 by the late Pope John Paul II on a visit to India.

The nun from Kerala who died in 1946 at the age of 36 was India’s first woman saint to be canonised. She became a saint ahead of the Albanian nun Mother Teresa of Kolkata who was beatified in 2003.

Sister Alphonsa

Sister Alphonsa

From The Hindu: “My childhood friend was a saint”

“She used to come here along with her father,” says Lakshmikutty of Kudamaloor. Though 99, she has a sharp memory, especially when it comes to recalling the times she spent with her childhood friend Annakkutty. More:

Also in The Hindu: A role model for humility

Alphonsa’s room was very close to the school. She used to stand at the window of her room to see her little friends. When they saw her, they rushed up to her to see her charming innocent smile and also to request her prayers. Her little friends called her “our smiling sister.” After her death, it was the children of the convent school who started decorating her tomb and burning candles around it. More:

In The Times of India: Biography of Sister Alphonsa prepared by the Vatican

From her birth, the life of the Blessed was marked by the cross, which would be progressively revealed to her as the royal way to conform herself to Christ. Her mother, Maria Puthukari, gave birth to her prematurely, in her eight month of pregnancy, as a result of a fright she received when, during the sleep, a snake wrapped itself around her waist. Eight days later, the 28 of August, the child was baptised according to the Syro-Malabar rite by the Fr. Joseph Chackalayil, and she received the name Annakutty, a diminutive of Anne. She was the last of five children. More:

Bridget McCain’s first home

In the UK Telegraph, Angus McDowall and Abdullah Al Muyid visit the Bangladesh orphanage from where John and Cindy McCain adopted their daughter, Bridget

     A nun at the orphanage from where John and Cindy McCain adopted a baby girl 17 years ago

A nun at the orphanage from where John and Cindy McCain adopted a baby girl 17 years ago

The adopted daughter of the party’s presidential nominee, had been plucked from a Dhaka orphanage as a desperately ill baby girl after a cyclone struck Bangladesh in 1991.

Shyly waving from the podium, the epitome of the bashful schoolgirl, Bridget charmed the hall full of Republican activists gathered last week to acclaim their party’s choice for president.

It was a world away from her roots in the backstreet orphanage in Dhaka, capital of one of the world’s poorest countries, which The Sunday Telegraph traced last week.

Around the Sisters of Charity of Mother Teresa Children’s Home, the streets are so full and chaotic that it is easier to go on foot than ride a rickshaw or moped through the bustling crowds.