DISPATCHES FROM STEPHEN LENDMAN
Charity, even when well executed (which Theresa’s was not) is rarely a match for the gravity of systemic problems that only revolution can cure.
Beatified in 2003 as “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta,” she was unjustifiably called “saint of the gutters” for allegedly helping the poorest of the poor.
Awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for “humanitarian work” and “spiritual inspiration,” her legacy is notably unsaintly.
Instead of caring for the sick and needy, she hobnobbed with the world’s rich, famous and infamous, accepting large donations from dubious sources, including convicted savings & loan crook Charles Keating, Haitian dictator “Baby Doc” Duvalier, and other notorious tyrants.
Her so-called hospitals were human warehouses. Hunger and malnutrition were widespread. Sick and dying patients got little medical care from untrained nuns and other personnel – poor food and mistreatment instead under deplorable unsanitary conditions, conducive to serious illnesses and diseases.
Journalist/documentary filmmaker Donal Macintyre witnessed firsthand what went on. “Rescued” orphans were crammed into tight spaces with “hardly a breath of air between their bare metal bed frames,” he said.
Some children were strapped to beds or otherwise restrained. They had “their mouths gagged open to be given medicine, their hands flaying in distress, visible testimony to the pain they were in.”
“Tiny babies were bound with cloths at feeding time. Rough hands wrenched heads into position” to ingest deplorable food. Horrific mistreatment was commonplace, an affront to human dignity, Macintyre explained.
Cold water substituted for warm and hot. Soap and disinfectants were in short supply. “Workers washed down beds with dirty water and dirty cloths.” Macintyre “witnessed barbaric treatment of the most vulnerable.”
Mother Teresa and her staff dispensed inhumane and degrading treatment. She was a sinner, not a saint, traveling the world in luxury, indulging in undeserved celebrity.
Claiming she fed thousands daily in Calcutta, it was scores at most. Alleging her school taught 5,000 children, its enrollment was less than 100.
Saying she had 102 family assistance centers in Calcutta, none existed. During area cholera epidemics and floods, she provided virtually no help for desperate people.
She spent most of her time abroad, jet-setting to Western capitals, enjoying luxuries, mindless of the suffering of sick and needy Calcutta residents she claimed to be helping.
Michael Parenti earlier called her “a paramount example of the kind of acceptably conservative icon propagated by an elite-dominated culture, a ‘saint’ who uttered not a critical word against social injustice, and maintained cozy relations with the rich, corrupt, and powerful.”
“She claimed to be above politics when in fact she was pronouncedly hostile toward any kind of progressive reform.”
Her public persona was one thing, reality entirely different, awarding her sainthood another black mark defining longstanding deplorable Vatican policy.
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