St. Mother Teresa and the Miracles Game

Sep 6, 2016

By Joe Nickell

With the requisite two “miracles” approved, Mother Teresa was canonized on Sunday, September 4, 2016. But is she Mother Teresa of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) transformed into a saint—that is, a holy person imbued by God with miraculous powers—or is she only a pretend saint, created by popular demand?

Around the world, the Catholic faithful clamor for their beloved late priest, nun, or other personage to be added to the roster of saints. Pope John Paul II (1920–2005) heard them and lowered the requirement from three verified miracles to two (one for beatification, another for canonization), creating numerous saints and beatifying over 1,300 others—more than had all his predecessors together. Following complaints that the church was operating a “saint factory,” in 2008 somewhat stricter procedures were introduced, but then John Paul II too was canonized (Nickell 2015).

A Questionable Saint

The name of Mother Teresa (1910–1997) is known worldwide. Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Macedonia, she became a nun, taught at a girls’ school in India, and in time founded a new congregation, the Missionaries of Charity, which spread internationally. Her work—ostensibly to benefit the poor—won her the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.


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29 comments on “St. Mother Teresa and the Miracles Game

  • @OP – Her work—ostensibly to benefit the poor—won her the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

    Perhaps there should be an inquiry into what EVIDENCE was presented to the Nobel committee in support of this award, and if any of the the judges should have declared personal vested interests as “Catholic faithful”?

    It is difficult to see how a demonic promoter of suffering and the withholding of relief in the forms of food and pain killers, can be presented in all seriousness as a model beneficiary to humankind!

    It would appear that only gross dishonesty, corruption, or delusional profound faith-thinking “liars for Jesus”, could reach such a conclusion, when considering what actually went on in establishments under her control!



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  • bonnie2 #2
    Sep 7, 2016 at 7:09 am

    The curtain is pulled, we can see the Wizard, the halo has slipped.

    There is a theory that with a slight adjustment of focus and change of viewing angle, the alleged “halo”, becomes recognisable as an overlapping of the horns above the head! 🙂



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  • Why don’t I have a source name to click for the rest of the article? The bit shown here leaves out all the juicy bits that, judging by their comments, others seem to have accessed.



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  • BTW,
    Hilarious!!!! I mean, we see a charity that wont allow an atheist to do a good deed coupled with a walking horror story canonized into sainthood. Hoo-ray religion. You are consistently inconsistent. Severe idiocy rules the day.



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  • One can legitimately disagree with how Mother Teresa ran her work in India and her opinions on some issues but Hitchens was wrong to condemn her for believing that suffering could be a gift of God. All of us are going to experience pain of one sort or another and suffer. It’s the response that makes the difference. If dealing with the suffering brings one closer to God or spurs one on to relieve the suffering of others, that is a good thing. But, wallowing in suffering for its own sake is simply silly. And for reasons of disclosure, let me state that I am an evangelical Christian who is not a member of the RCC.



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  • david.graf.589 #9
    Sep 7, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    One can legitimately disagree with how Mother Teresa ran her work in India and her opinions on some issues but Hitchens was wrong to condemn her for believing that suffering could be a gift of God.

    Hitchens condemned her not for simply holding her delusional beliefs, but for applying them to deliberately inflicting suffering on others.

    All of us are going to experience pain of one sort or another and suffer. It’s the response that makes the difference.

    The response of seeking out such people and then refusing refusing them painkillers in those circumstances is just evil!

    If dealing with the suffering brings one closer to God or spurs one on to relieve the suffering of others, that is a good thing.

    Which is the opposite of what Teresa did! She refused to relieve suffering when it was within her power to relieve it!

    But, wallowing in suffering for its own sake is simply silly.

    If someone feeling masochistic wants to be silly and wallow in their own suffering, that is their business.
    If they wilfully force others to wallow in suffering to fill some delusional belief of their own, that is just plain psychotic or wicked!

    http://www.srai.org/mother-teresa-where-are-her-millions/

    While the Missionaries of Charity have already withheld help from the starving in Ethiopia or the orphans in India — despite having received donations in their names — there are others who are being actively harmed by the organisation’s ideology of disorganisation.
    In 1994, Robin Fox, editor of the prestigious medical journal Lancet, in a commentary on the catastrophic conditions prevailing in Mother Teresa’s homes, shocked the professional world by saying that any systematic operation was foreign to the running of the homes in India: TB patients were not isolated, and syringes were washed in lukewarm water before being used again. Even patients in unbearable pain were refused strong painkillers, not because the order did not have them, but on principle. “The most beautiful gift for a person is that he can participate in the suffering of Christ,” said Mother Teresa. Once she had tried to comfort a screaming sufferer, “You are suffering, that means Jesus is kissing you.” The sufferer screamed back, furious, “Then tell your Jesus to stop kissing me.”

    The English doctor Jack Preger once worked in the home for the dying. He says, “If one wants to give love, understanding and care, one uses sterile needles. This is probably the richest order in the world. Many of the dying there do not have to be dying in a strictly medical sense.”

    . . . but Hitchens was wrong to condemn her for believing that suffering could be a gift of God.

    And for reasons of disclosure, let me state that I am an evangelical Christian who is not a member of the RCC.

    It is strange that some sort of tribal identification causes some Xtians to defend the unacceptable behaviour of fellow Christians, when they are called to account by critics!

    Even some Christian missionaries who visited her homes, are on record as criticising Teresa’s wilful neglect and abuses of the starving and dying so she could glorify suffering of real people, on behalf of her imaginary god!



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  • . But is she Mother Teresa of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) transformed into a saint—that is, a holy person imbued by God with miraculous powers—or is she only a pretend saint, created by popular demand?

    Huh?!? All saints are pretend saints!!

    Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

    I’m not seeing the usual source click on.



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  • There is guardian article here:-

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/31/mother-teresa-may-deserve-to-be-made-saint-but-why-now

    To her admirers, the fruits of her holiness are evident, in her legacy of homes for the dying, homeless hostels, soup kitchens, leprosy clinics, HIV/Aids hospices, orphanages, schools, mobile dispensaries, mother and baby clinics, and centres for drug addicts and alcoholics in 133 countries.

    Her work for the disadvantaged won her the Nobel peace prize. Malcolm Muggeridge, the man whose 1969 film set the Albanian nun on the road to becoming an international household name, called what she did, in the title of his 1971 book, Something Beautiful for God.

    It seems that her road to fame was launched by the religiously deluded TV pseudo-rational, pseudo-intellectual, Malcolm Muggeridge!

    It is a far from universally accepted verdict. The most formidable of her critics was another British journalist, Christopher Hitchens, who in 1994 made a film called Hell’s Angel. It claimed that Mother Teresa treated the symptoms of poverty while ignoring the causes. She took money from distasteful political figures and rich fraudsters, and didn’t publish any accounts. Her Catholic opposition to abortion and contraception made her a religious fundamentalist. Her Kolkata home for the dying had poor medical standards. It all constituted, Hitchens railed, a “cult of death and suffering”.

    Should all that disqualify her from being a saint? Hitchens’s critique is polemical – his 1995 book on her is framed with attacks on religion in general – but it airs concerns raised by an Indian doctor, Aroup Chatterjee. It has interviews with volunteers from the Kolkata Home for the Dying Destitutes, who spoke of needles reused without sterilising them, too few drips, and little pain control beyond aspirin. The Lancet visited in 1994, and said the home failed to distinguish between dying patients and those who could be cured.

    All this stemmed, critics said, from Mother Teresa’s archaic religious attitude to suffering, which she saw as “beautiful” because it enabled poor people to “share in the passion of Christ” – though that did not prevent her from being treated in expensive medical facilities when she herself was ill.

    It was not a view all the dying shared. When she told one man “you are suffering like Christ on the cross, so Jesus must be kissing you,” he replied: “Then please tell him to stop kissing me.” Mother Teresa was unrepentant, insisting that a home for the dying was not a hospital. “We are not nurses, we are not doctors, we are not teachers, we are not social workers,” she said: “We are religious.”

    Certainly, Mother Teresa embraced an “ostentatious anti-materialism” that bordered on primitivism. In her San Francisco convent, she threw out all the mattresses, carpets, curtains and sofas, arguing that comfort corrupted. In the Bronx she refused to open a home for the poor when the local authorities insisted it had to have an elevator. In Rome she reprimanded her sisters for canning a glut of tomatoes, saying it revealed a lack of trust in God.

    So while collecting the poor, destitute and vulnerable, she was exploiting their suffering, glorifying suffering in her death cult, refusing to treat those who could have recovered, and totting up “saved imaginary souls” and death-bed conversions for the religious satisfaction of god-delusions!

    In Catholic terms – Perhaps more of a candidate for exorcism than for sainthood!

    The Vatican, in keeping with the “principles of faith-thinking”, has ignored all these witness testimonies and evidence, and glorified the contrived image they want their sheeples to believe!



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  • Mother Teresa was the biggest example of somebody who does “good” not good. The problem is how the Church enables her message and makes her a saint. Pope Francis and his cronies are passive aggressive in how they ignore the truth. A religion needs to be condemned more for the evil it opens the door to than what it does or has done.

    A comment says, “If dealing with the suffering brings one closer to God or spurs one on to relieve the suffering of others, that is a good thing.” You don’t need to believe in God to use your suffering to motivate you to reach out and help other sufferers. In fact seeing suffering as random and a fact of life should make you hate it more than one who thinks its part of God’s alleged plot to bring good out of it. To say you do need to believe is just insulting. And how could suffering be good if it makes you close to a God who makes you suffer? Believers in God in some way do wallow in suffering and water down how terrible i t is for others. They cannot admit that a God who hurts people or WORSE who lets them be hurt (letting hurt happen is worse than hurting for at least when you hurt you know how much hurt you expect to happen) is unworthy of worship.

    I have realised from a comment above that she had no right to take that Nobel Prize. She was not a true humanitarian. She could not even be trusted with money for she put faith before people and used suffering to invite people to her understanding of faith. Inviting people to a vague sense of faith is one thing but a specific faith is a different matter.



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  • The RCC claims on “suffering” are pathetic.

    As the story goes:

    Once upon a time there was a fairytale garden made by a god, who put a couple of characters in it.

    They were called Adam and Eve! They were very naughty to ate an apple from a tree which they had been told not to touch. – Having been put up to it by a talking snake!

    Of course evolution, cosmology and geology clearly identify this story as a fantasy folk-tale

    However, the story continues:-

    Because of the “original sin” of this naughtiness, thousands of years later, some Jewish preacher, like thousands of others in the Roman empire, had to die by crucifixion to atone for this imaginary fairytale “sin” in the imaginary garden which never existed!

    Therefore:- Two more thousands of years later, lots of sick and starving people have to be gathered from the streets, to suffer pain and death in the clutches of Teresa, because her cult worships suffering and poverty, and demands that others share in the Hell-on-Earth, suffering similar to those crucified by Romans.

    So according to Teresa, it will by abusing their bodies, help save their imaginary “souls”, earn Teresa Brownie points from her god-delusion, and give her an imagined glorious afterlife in a utopian “heaven”!

    Then the Vatican now adds invented new “Magic miracle cure” saintly stories, – which like Teresa, omit references to medical treatments, expert advice, or inconvenient witness testimony!



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  • Evil do-gooders. They abound. The world is teeming with them. And….. somehow there is almost a universal foundation of religion driving them.

    Dave Graf above sees no issue with preying on the poorest of the poor (who have no CHOICE but to be “administered to by whoever is available) while funding is available to both relive their suffering AND their poverty. As long as the torture is done in the name of some deity, it is “productive torture” and “good” for the “souls” of the suffering.

    This is why even the most benign of religions and the most benign of religious folks must be fundamentally distrusted in the care of people and the decision making processes in our society. She kept them sick and poor on purpose. She let them die in agony; most of them didn’t even believe the same nonsense as her. She had funding to create something transformative and beneficial to humankind. but because righteous suffering was HER paradigm, she made others suffer and starve. She’s a pig.



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  • Neodarwinian #11
    Sep 7, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Huh?!? All saints are pretend saints!!

    And judging by the preserved “sacred relics” of their bones in numerous pilgrimage locations, , many of them were also centipedes!



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  • I heard that MT, while speaking outdoors in Winnipeg, was offered a rain jacket by her hosts. She refused, saying something about “the poor” lacking such protection. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t she just another pious fraud, ostentatious in her “compassion,” who built a reputation on encouraging suffering?



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  • @Alan4discussion#16
    “sacred relics”

    Yep.

    One of the most popular relics was a “splinter from the true cross of Christ”.

    Don’t know where I read a terrific comment about this relic, never mind the source.
    Most likely something like an “urban (but perhaps surprisingly medieval?) myth”.

    If I have it vaguely right, it must be post-1588.

    “All of the wooden splinter relics claimed to be from the “true cross of Christ” put together would suffice to build the Spanish Armada!”
    (I’m tempted to add “several times over”.)



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  • Pope John Paul II (1920–2005) heard them and lowered the requirement
    from three verified miracles to two (one for beatification, another
    for canonization)

    Pope John Paul II (1920–2005) heard them and lowered the requirement from three verified loads of baloney to two (one for beatification, another for canonization)

    Of course! Three loads of baloney are too much for whoever.

    And, of course, the Roman Catholic Church has the freedom to give her honorific titles to whoever she likes, and if the RCC has given the title of St. to the great impostor Giuseppe Forgione (alias St. Pio) why she can’t give the same title to that little nun? Has Teresa of Kolkata been less able than Giuseppe Forgione in promoting the Catholic business?

    The ultimate question is: why some atheists are losing their time in criticizing the acknowledgement of the officil score of baloney to the Church’s businesspersons?

    Maybe for trying to fight the coverage of such silly events from the mainstream media that treat them as a serious issue.



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  • Grumpy cat,
    If “jesus” was not in a crossed position when he was crucified, and instead was simply hung on a straight pole, would all these “christians” start wearing a chain around their neck with a simple pole?
    How do we even know it was a cross?
    We don’t know where the cross is, we don’t know where the cave is, we don’t know who the authors of the bible were, and we can’t seem to find a five hundred foot ship that saved the entire worlds population.
    I would think eight people that survived the flood would remember.



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  • Fiorenzo

    The ultimate question is: why some atheists are losing their time in criticizing the acknowledgement of the officil score of baloney to the Church’s businesspersons?

    The massive RCC propaganda machine needs to be rebutted. Try telling a number of people that you don’t think that M. Theresa was an ethically good person for this reason and that reason, then watch the look of astonishment come over their faces. This needs to be addressed. It’s part of the whole religion is the greatest force for goodness in this life load of crap.

    Seriously, when one of us speaks up for the ethical case for compassion and points out those who abuse the ill and dying, these statements stick in the mind of the interlocutor and they may be more skeptical of something that they previously swallowed hook, line and sinker.

    After the child rape scandals that the RCC has perpetrated, the general public may be primed to consider that this cruel nun is not as saintly as the clergy is making her out to be.



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  • alf1200 #20
    Sep 8, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    If “jesus” was not in a crossed position when he was crucified, and instead was simply hung on a straight pole, would all these “christians” start wearing a chain around their neck with a simple pole?
    How do we even know it was a cross?

    Indeed so – the lack of evidence and conflicting evidence from the only physical evidence of crucifixion, suggest the biblical story is wrong.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehohanan

    Thus, the lack of traumatic injury to the forearm and metacarpals of the hand seems to suggest that the arms of the condemned were tied rather than nailed to the cross.

    In conclusion, The findings of Zias and Sekeles do not indicate a horizontal patibulum cross-beam was attached to the victim’s crucifixion device. Jehohanan may have very well extended his arms upward on a crux simplex (simple upright stake).



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  • “…is she Mother Teresa of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) transformed into a saint—that is, a holy person imbued by God with miraculous powers—or is she only a pretend saint, created by popular demand?”

    Oh dearie, dearie me.



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  • Alf # 20.

    And, if the story went that he’d been stoned to death?

    Imagine the second coming and an electric chair being employed to make God’s point; some necklace that would be!

    Apparently, crucifixion was common place then; the Romans did it to set an example.

    I speak in these somewhat uncouth terms because I think the whole malarkey is a fabrication.

    But of course, I’ll accept evidence to the contrary.



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  • Stafford Gordon #25
    Sep 9, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    And, if the story went that he’d been stoned to death?

    The RCC would still look big and prominent – like a gilded half-brick on a diamond necklace! 🙂



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  • 27
    bonnie2 says:

    electric chair, stoning…

    etc., means Arthur Blessit would be out of a job.

    The naturally occurring geometric shape of a “cross”, is just symbolic enough to latch on to and retain. E.g., students at St. Mary’s posed as a cross for group photo, a “cross” (hunk of debris) was found at 9/11 (11/9), ad infinitum.



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  • Where secular law prevails and religious bigotry is excluded, much better options are available for potential sufferers and the terminally ill!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37335846

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37335846

    The Belgian Paralympian Marieke Vervoort, who suffers from an incurable degenerative muscle disease, says she will choose euthanasia, but not yet.

    The wheelchair racer, who won a silver medal on Saturday in the 400m, said she signed euthanasia papers in 2008.

    The Belgian press had reported she might take her life after Rio, but she rejected the speculation at a news conference following her victory.

    She said she was “still enjoying every little moment”.

    “When the moment comes when I have more bad days than good days, then I have my euthanasia papers, but the time is not there yet,” she told journalists in Rio.

    Euthanasia is legal in Belgium.

    The 37-year-old suffers from a degenerative muscle disease that causes constant pain, seizures, paralysis in her legs and leaves her barely able to sleep.

    What’s the law in Belgium?

    Belgium, like the Netherlands and Luxembourg, permits euthanasia

    A patient’s suffering must be constant, unbearable and the illness must be serious and incurable

    Since 2014, a terminally ill child in Belgium may also request euthanasia with parental consent but extra assessment is required

    An adult does not have to be terminally ill but must be mentally competent

    A child seeking euthanasia must be terminally ill and mentally competent



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  • 29
    Pinball1970 says:

    Mother Theresa was a poster girl, puppet and money making machine for the church.

    She was described as a living saint at my school (RCC)

    I am not sure what she believed, there a several excepts from letters that have been published demonstrating her doubts about god.

    Not just about finer details but whether there was one!

    Also was there an exorcism performed on her?

    Hitchens gave some detail on this somewhere on the net, I don’t have the missionary position.



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