Vatican is to make ‘sacred cow’ Mother Teresa a saint

Vatican is to make ‘sacred cow’ Mother Teresa a saint

While millions of Catholics will undoubtedly be ecstatic over the news that ‘sacred cow’ Mother Teresa is to be declared a saint next year, one man who will be rolling his eyes in disbelief will be Prabir Ghosh, the 71-year-old President of the Science and Rationalists’ Association of India.

Ghosh, pictured above, is the scourge of “godmen” and miracle claimants in India, and way back in 2002 he challenged the first miracle attributed to Mother Teresa: the cancer “cure” of a woman called Monica Besra.

The Missionaries of Charity claimed that when a photograph of their founder, Mother Teresa, was placed over the stomach of 30-year-old Besra, it cured her of a tumour.

But Ghosh revealed that several doctors reported to the West Bengal government that Besra continued to receive treatment long after Mother Teresa died in 1997.

Ghosh described the claim as bogus and typical of the process of cult building in all religious orders.

Doctors warned that if the story of the miracle gets what they describe as undue publicity, illiterate and poor villagers may stop taking medical treatment for their maladies and seek miracle cures.

Despite this, Mother Teresa was beatified in 2003 after Pope John Paul II accepted as authentic the Besra miracle.

Now Pope Francis has recognised a second miracle attributed to MT, clearing the way for the Roman Catholic nun to be made a saint next year.

The miracle involved the alleged healing of a Brazilian man with several brain tumours in 2008, the Vatican said.

The Holy Father has authorised the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to proclaim the decree concerning the miracle attributed to the intercession of blessed Mother Teresa.

There are few details about the recovery of the Brazilian man. His identity has not been disclosed to maintain “the discretion”needed for the investigation, the Catholic New Agency has said.

The Vatican claims that he was unexpectedly cured when his priest prayed for MT to have a word in God’s ear about the Brazilian.

Hat tip: Ian Philliskirk

37 responses to “Vatican is to make ‘sacred cow’ Mother Teresa a saint”

  1. H3r3tic says:

    Clearly the people responsible for this have not read the excellent “The Missionary Position – Mother Theresa in Theory & Practice” by the much missed Christopher Hitchens. His excoriating demolition of the myth that was built up around this awful woman is truly enlightening.

  2. Stephen Mynett says:

    Of course, the RCC will conveniently ignore the fact many of her victims died in agony because she refused to use analgesics, despite having better access to them than many running charities in India.Obviously believing in bogus miracles is better for people than using medicines that work.

    Things are not improving with Mad Frankie, it is the same old RCC but with a PR head that the gullible and fawning media are happy to embrace. I see the BBC tripe on this story did mention she had critics but only as a small aside at the end of the article.

  3. Angela_K says:

    Evidence? No, thought not. The religious buffoons tell we just have to believe, that is switch off the reason and logic part of brain.

    It strikes me as odd that this all powerful god [ahem]with his saints and other charlatans only chooses to cure the occasional person.

  4. Ivan says:

    Reading this I glanced to the bottom right of the screen and it said thirteen twenty-two. Is that the time or the year?

  5. annette says:

    I’ve always believed that Mother Theresa was a sadist. Children dying with no pain meds. . . . . .When Hitchens came out with Missionary Position, I sighed.

  6. Health and Safety says:

    Yes just heard that on BBC R4 News at 13.00. I can’t decide whether the BBC included it because its:-
    Wonderful and everyone should rejoice.
    Appalling so that everyone should be affronted.

    The BBC should broadcast the Christopher Hitchens Documentary exposing the MT Scam.

    Its a well know fact that MT lost her faith in a big way but the rcc, including people like the excremental Bill Donohue of the American Catholic League, lied through their teeth in denial of the evidence.

    I hope the beatification takes place .. it will merely expose how dishonest the rcc is when more people realise that the MT scam was an affort to humanity in that it cynically used the dying as fodder for the glorification of rcc dogma.

  7. Health and Safety says:

    affort = affront

  8. Health and Safety says:

    Its now on the BBC News Website.

    Those of you familiar with the BBC News Website will know that the site contains a “Have Your Say” opportunity for selected stories so that readers can post their comments. The CoE has come in for a fair bit of stick recently in this way. But needless to say the BBC has chosen not to expose the Saint Agnes story to the rigours of public critique.Is there a pro rcc element in the BBC? Sure looks that way.

  9. Health and Safety says:

    Here is the BBC Complains Link for those who wish to use it.

  10. sailor1031 says:

    And then there’s this:

    The paper itself was only published in french AFAIK

  11. sailor1031 says:

    That abstract mentions that it was Malcolm Muggeridge who started the whole MT Legend. Some on here may remember that poisonous oleaginous cretin – his infamy even extended to rural Ontario to blight my young days. I’ll bet Barriejohn can add a few choice words about him…..

  12. Health and Safety says:

    Malc Mug also showed his true colours when taking John Cleese and Michael Palin to task over the Life of Brian. Frankly I though Clesse and Palin we cowed into dishonesty … the film was a refreshingly overt piss take out of biblical myth at a time when taking the piss out of the biblical myth was professionally risky.

  13. Health and Safety says:

    Here’s the link for the above …

  14. Health and Safety says:

    And in case you have not seen it here is the excoriating Christopher Hitchens expose of the MT Scam

  15. Health and Safety says:

    And in case you have not seen it here is the link for the Hitchens Donohue spat about MT loss of faith. And the awful Donohue lies through his teeth.

  16. AgentCormac says:

    An extract from Hitch’s thoughts on the Monica Besra ‘miracle’.

    ‘As for the “miracle” that had to be attested, what can one say? Surely any respectable Catholic cringes with shame at the obviousness of the fakery. A Bengali woman named Monica Besra claims that a beam of light emerged from a picture of MT, which she happened to have in her home, and relieved her of a cancerous tumor. Her physician, Dr. Ranjan Mustafi, says that she didn’t have a cancerous tumor in the first place and that the tubercular cyst she did have was cured by a course of prescription medicine. Was he interviewed by the Vatican’s investigators? No.’

  17. Newspaniard says:

    @Health and Safety. Thank you for that link. I trust the pope’s, “For christ sake find me a saint” Committee has seen it.

  18. AgentCormac says:

    @Health and Safety

    That so-called interview featuring the Bishop of London and Malcolm Muggeridge was one of the most appalling pieces of patronising, condesceding television I have ever seen. The host, Tim Rice, did nothing whatsoever to stop the two of them lambasting Cleese and Palin, and the pair hardly drew breath to let the Pythons get a word in edgeways. It transpired the Bish and Muggeridge had missed the first fifteen minutes of the film at an earlier preview and thought that Brian was JC. Get your sick bag ready if you decide to watch.

  19. Stephen Mynett says:

    “It transpired the Bish and Muggeridge had missed the first fifteen minutes of the film at an earlier preview and thought that Brian was JC.”

    AC, the only thing that surprises me about that statement is that they saw any of the film. Since when has truth or a knowledge of the subject involved been necessary for a religionist to make a comment.

    We don’t see Tom or Ken or any of the other religionist regulars here these days, such a pity I am sure they could put us right.

  20. AgentCormac says:

    @Stephen Mynett

    There’s a good article about the interview here:,_Saturday_Morning

    Includes gems such as:
    Muggeridge: ‘I started off by saying that this is such a tenth-rate film that I don’t believe that it would disturb anybody’s faith.
    Palin: ‘Yes, I know you started with an open mind; I realise that.’

    …when Muggeridge said ‘that Christianity had been responsible for more good in the world than any other force in history’, Cleese said ‘what about the Spanish Inquisition?’

    Cleese preferred to sum it all up by saying ‘I always felt we won that one by behaving better than the Christians’.

  21. Trevor Blake says:

    Suppose what the Vatican claims is true in every regard. God exists and did perform this specific miracle on that particular day. Having not granted the billions of other prayers offered that day, some just as deserving, some less, some more, are we to conclude that God is capricious or that God is largely impotent? That God rolls some cosmic dice and picks a very random prayer to answer, or that God has to save up years worth of magic powers then spark it out and hope it sticks? Either way, God doesn’t seem especially deserving of worship. The only thing God seems able to provide with great regularity is suffering and death.

    Science, meanwhile, meanders on. Every breakthrough of medicine resisted by religion, then claimed by religion when the glory is clearly with science and not superstition.

  22. Stephen Mynett says:

    Thanks AC, an interesting read. I cannot bring myself to watch the Youtube clip of the rantings of the bishop and Muggeridge again. I just find it hard to believe how anyone, even if they are brainwashed/indoctrinated from birth can still follow what many in the church say.

    Things don’t change though. look at the rantings of the idiot bishop of Gloucester the other day. She is no different from the bishop lambasting the Pythons, self-righteous and totally refusing to accept any idea other than her own, although having looked at he strange dress again I think I know why she was so upset, it seems she had tickets for the Star Wars premier and was going dressed as Darth Vader but someone threw up all over her costume.

  23. AgentCormac says:

    @Trevor Blake

    ‘Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?’

    Epicurus (c. 341 – c. 270 BC)

  24. barriejohn says:

    Sailor: I’m a bit short of time today, and have said quite a bit about Muggeridge before, but I don’t know what happened to the man. Remember, he was once the editor of Punch (1950s),but went seriously off the rails as he got older. His son was a “missionary” to Eastern Europe with the Plymouth Brethren, I believe, and had quite an influence upon his beliefs, so I was told.

  25. barriejohn says:

    The bejewelled, bedazzling Rt Revd Mervyn Stockwood was what one might call a “colourful” character!

    Shortly before his death he was one of ten Church of England bishops ‘outed’ (i.e. alleged to be a closet homosexual) by the radical gay organisation OutRage!. Michael De-la-Noy’s biography, “Mervyn Stockwood: A Lonely Life” (September 1977) paints him as a socialist who loved the trappings of wealth, privilege and royalty.

  26. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, now the irritating Blessed Teresa of Calcutta as a result of one of the milestones in the scheme by the late Pope John Paul II to fast-track her to sainthood,  beatification, is destined to become one of the most popular saints in the Catholic Church. It has emerged that she had to be exorcised of demons on her deathbed.
    Writers Professor Serge Larivie and Genevieve Chenard in the journal, Studies in Religion/Sciences, have made it clear that Mother Teresa deserves severe criticism for “her rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception, and divorce.”
    For example, the 517 missions she had set up for the poor and the sick in many countries were really just places for the dying to be dumped in. Doctors who checked out her activities in Calcutta have established this. The places were found to be needlessly dirty, the inmates were inadequately fed and looked after. Worse, they had NO PAINKILLERS!
    Mother let people think that money was scarce but that was not the case at all.
    The writers noted that Mother never gave money to help the victims of natural disasters in India. But she said prayers for them. And she wasted the money on sending them medals of the Virgin Mary. Millions of dollars were put by Mother into many secret accounts.
    Thanks also to the work of Christopher Hitchens it is possible to see the truth about Mother Teresa who nobody dares criticise.
    Mother aided the evil Duvalier family of Haiti and buttered them up. She got a million dollars from Charles Keating and kept it ignoring requests to her to return it after she knew he had stolen the money. She has opposed the human right to divorce, contraception and abortion and the rights of secular people. She thought she knew it all. It was okay for her to campaign against these things for she never needed them. She was an epitome of the reprehensible selfishness that exists in the worst fundamentalist Christians. She even said that poverty was a gift from God. She accepted the vicious idea that the purpose of suffering is for the betterment of character. The atheist refuses to condone suffering this way and so the atheist should have a greater hatred of the suffering in the world than the religionist. She refused to use anything in her clinics to relieve pain for she accepted the Catholic doctrine that suffering is a good thing. She checked into the best hospitals in the world when she was sick herself and anything was good enough for the poor she used to create her grand and glorious image.
    Mother stated that dogs were fed on human foetuses. No evidence for this claim has ever been uncovered. She approved of a film about her, Mother Teresa and her world, which claimed that there were a quarter of a million lepers in Calcutta while another film she collaborated in said it was 40,000. She has exaggerated the number of lepers and has helped them in preference to the even more serious plague of malaria.
    She lied as well that she knew no poor woman in Calcutta who had had an abortion though Calcuttans regarded abortion as no big deal and all classes used it.
    Mother had 50 million dollars in the New York bank alone and yet the order greedily solicited for money. This was the order that used the same syringe on many sick patients under the pretext of hard times. The money shouldn’t have been lying in accounts. Every penny should have been used.
    Mother Teresa spoke against Vatican II making any doctrinal or practical changes in the Roman Catholic Church in the sixties. She supported the old horrific triumphalist and sectarian Church system that existed before Vatican II. She did not want the Church to become more human. She has frequently presented Calcutta as being a worse city than it really was to pull in the donations.
    Please look up the sites by Christopher Hitchens and Aroup Chatterjee on the Internet and do a search in Google. Free Inquiry Winter 97-98 Volume 18 and Issue 1 ran an article by a former member of the Order Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity. She left the Order and exposed the evil and predominant side of Mother Teresa in the article. The article can be found on page 31. She testified that |Mother believed that obedience to the Order and to the Church is God’s will and that it is good to choose to suffer for it makes God give more graces out to the Church. Attachment to people and friendship was forbidden. This is so that Christ’s command that God alone be loved and other things loved for his sake meaning not for themselves but for him and not for yourself but for him may be observed. The effect of all this was the nuns telling lies and refusing to commit the sin of thinking independently. Mother Teresa caused a lot of destruction among the nuns. Mother Teresa amassed huge donations for the order and made no effort to make sure that the nuns used clean needles when they injected. She wouldn’t supply them. The Order she ran is so much like an extreme religious cult.
      It was reported in the Sunday Tribune of October 20th, 2002, (Vol 22) that Monica Besra, a West Bengali lady, who alleged that she was cured by Mother Teresa was not the recipient of a miracle though the Vatican formally recognised that she was. She said she was cured of a incurable cancerous tumour of the abdomen in 1998 on the anniversary of Mother Teresa’s death. She claimed that she was ill and that two nuns prayed with her to Mother Teresa when she felt strangely elated and discovered that she was healed. Doctors have testified that it was not cancer but a tubercular lump that died away thanks to prescribed drugs. She went for an ultrasound despite saying that her symptoms had gone and this was in May 1999! Were they gone at all? Parts of her story do not add up so her version cannot be trusted and it does seem that she had many of the same symptoms for she was admitted to hospital a year after the miracle with severe pain in the abdomen. According to a story that broke on 19th of October 2002, Dr Murshed claimed that representatives of the Roman Church and Mother Teresa’s order had come to him and applied pressure for him to declare the cure to be a miracle that can only be explained supernaturally. Many doctors were claiming that they treated Ms Besra for her illness even after the alleged healing.
    The book, Christianity is not Great, says that Besra said that the tumour was taken away miraculously when she used a locket containing Mother Teresa’s picture with devotion. She cried miracle but her own husband said it was the doctors that cured her. The book says that one doctor who treated her said she had a cyst and tuberculosis and did not have cancer. The healing was not instant – it took place slowly over a year! The Church ignores all the evidence and still insists it was a real miracle. The Church is only encouraging people to disparage medical science. That causes suffering and death. This is disgusting in a world where children are left to die even in America where parents want to trust prayer or magic or miracles instead of medicine and their madness has legal protection. And bizarrely, these hypocritical parents have no problem taking the family pet to a vet or animal hospital!
    The books says that two thirds of the patients who went to Mother Teresa’s facilities were looking for a doctor and there was none available for them. Patients then died because they only had custodial care.
    In The Freethinker October 2007 it was revealed that doctors claimed that Besra’s recovery was not down to a miracle but down to conventional medical treatment. Besra was stricken with poverty and the Missionaries of Charity nuns promised her financial help. It continued only as long as the nuns needed Besra involved in the plot to attribute a miracle to Mother Teresa that never really happened. They used her and then they dumped her.
     The Lancet, a respected medical journal, gave a negative appraisal of Mother Teresa’s methods of looking after people. She refused to listen. She had the money to improve the substandard care.
    SF Weekly make it clear that Mother Teresa knew that her priest friend, Donald McGuire, abused a Bay Area boy in 1993. The Church, for a change, dismissed him from his ministry. She didn’t care and made efforts to have him put back into active ministry. She stated this must be done as soon as humanly possible. In a letter she referred to the abuses as sad events and that he was guilty of imprudence. In other words, he made a mistake. She was close to excusing his behaviour. She got her wish for his reinstatement and the McGuire attacked more boys. He ended up arrested in 2005.
    She wrote, “I understand how grave is the scandal touching the priesthood in the U.S.A. and how careful we must be to guard the purity and reputation of that priesthood”. She lied that she considered his crime grave but she stated that the reputation of the Church took priority.
    Again she implied the crime was not serious and made no difference to her, “I must say, however, that I have confidence and trust in Fr. McGuire and wish to see his vital ministry resume as soon as possible.” There was no empathy for the victim.
     The letter was used as evidence in litigation against McGuire’s order, the Jesuits.
    According to Hope Endures by a former nun from Mother Teresa’s order, The Missionaries of Charity, Collete Livermore, the order though it had sufficient money donated to it for the purpose of buying books to help with the medical work this was not done (page 115). As a result, the health of the sisters was at risk. The book explains how the nuns were not provided with medical advice, the use of mosquito repellents, information about malaria and vaccinations (page 115). It attributes this to the idea that God would look after the nuns.
    The book recounts how Colette, then called Sister Tobit, got into trouble with the order for helping a man with dysentery who was in danger of dying (page 163). The order cared more about obedience than doing the right thing. Mother Teresa declared according to page 168, that she recognised 1 Peter 2:18-23 as being correct. This text ordered slaves to obey their masters even if they were abusive and difficult. It said that it is great to be beaten for doing wrong when one is innocent and that such patience pleases God. Peter also says that this has to be the right attitude for Jesus gave us an example to follow. Mother Teresa used this text to urge her nuns to obey superiors without question (page 168). Sister Tobit decided to leave the order. She didn’t like the way she was expected to let the poor suffer rather than disobey orders and she made that clear to Mother Teresa (page 172). Mother Teresa was “not sympathetic” and told Tobit that her feelings were sourced in temptation and pride (page 172). In other words, Tobit was bad for seeing sense. Mother was judging her despite forbidding Tobit to judge those who acted as dictators in the order over her (page 224).
    Later Colette recounted the tale of what happened in Manila when she tried to help a sick boy called Alex. Sister Valerie who was in charge of her forbade her to help him though Colette told her there was no reason why they couldn’t.
    Mother Teresa wouldn’t let the nuns have a washing machine (page 194). This forced the nuns to wash the underwear of the incontinent with brushes. The order was more concerned about inflicting hardship on the nuns than on helping the sick. A washing machine would have freed up their time to help people. Mother was definitely misusing the funds so kindly donated to her from all over the world. It was the struggle to help not the helping that mattered in her Christian philosophy.
    Sister Tobit applied for a dispensation from her vows (page 224) because she was expected to do things like sending dying children away when commanded to do so and because she was not allowed to have a mind of her own. She wrote that she felt that “the order whose raison detre was to show compassion, chronically failed to do so, both to its own members and to the poor.” “The Society demanded that I have no mind of my own and censored everything I read, a form of brainwashing that almost turned me into an automaton”. These quotes can be read on page 224. On page 213 we read that Mother Teresa held that if an event happened, it was either willed by God or allowed by him to happen. We read that it led her to conclude that what the religious superior commands is either willed by God or at least allowed by him to be made meaning the commands no matter how silly or harsh they are are from God’s authority. To disobey them is to disobey God.
    When Tobit came Colette again she began to suspect that the gospel commands given by Christ to give to all who ask and thought that attempts to love unconditionally and forgive unconditionally really made one a doormat (page 287).
    The book proves that Mother Teresa cannot be called a good woman. It proves that living the gospels properly is bad for you. The Missionaries of Charity experienced the damaging power of the gospels and yet they lived their lives as an example to those who they helped and those who knew them – ultimately to see them take on the same torments. Some charity!

  27. Gerald says:

    I see that the BBC News Website has dropped the Saint Agnes story after an unusually short time. Are the BBC powers concerned by the huge negative response to the story?

  28. Broga says:

    @Gerald: BBC seems to be influenced by an RCC hierarchy. The Pope and his bishops get sympathetic interviewers and positive stories about the grisly RCC. You wouldn’t think that the C. of E. was the official religion. Justin Welby (the Archbishop of Canterbury in case anyone has forgotten) is invisible on the BBC.

    As for the repellent, greedy and cruel Mother Theresa, on whom Christopher Hitchens did an expose from which she will never recover, the miracles nonsense is an affront to the 21st century.

  29. Newspaniard says:

    @Patrick Gormley. A very long and interesting expose on the Sainted Mother Teresa. I do hope that you have saved for comments elsewhere as it seems like a lot of effort for such a short reading “life” and for such a small circle of readers. Thank you anyway.

  30. andym says:

    @Patrick Gormley. A Herculean effort. Thank you.

    So much of what is wrong with religion is encapsulated in this article and subsequent comments. The lies, corruption and manipulation. The sheer use of influence and power to propagate the myth against all evidence. The denial of real help for the good of souls.

    Then you have the Muggo, Bishop of London performance. They thought it “went well.”It became clear to Palin and Cleese in the immediate aftermath that they were not interested in rational debate, just causing a splash. I now suspect both of the religious repreentatives were the worse for wear that night.

  31. barriejohn says:

    Patrick Gormley’s article appears , along with many others, on his website. Just click onto his name to be magically taken there!

    Here’s another to which I have linked before. It originally appeared in Stern :

    The evil woman was exploiting the poor and disadvantaged to raise millions for the Vatican, and people couldn’t see through her. Did they never ask why she was not funding state-of-the-art medical care for the people whom she claimed to “love so much”? Religion is the ticket to get away with murder – literally.

  32. barriejohn says:

    Even the Mail has published articles critical of the Malicious Midget, and the comments are almost universally scathing as well:

  33. Angela_K says:

    @Barriejohn. I read some of the Mail’s comments last night and was encouraged to find most comments critical of Teresa. I see the Telegraph, owned by the two catholic Barclay brothers and mouthpiece for catholicism and Christianity, is not allowing comments about Teresa.

  34. Rationalist says:

    We the Rationalists and Humanists of India want to clear our stand regarding Mother Teresa and her proposed sainthood. In the wake of the recent discovery of Teresa’s letters proclaiming her spiritual doubts we feel that our views have a greater relevance at the moment.

    Mother’s was strong personality combined with deep compassion and an immense ability to work with singular determination. She justly got the Nobel Peace Prize and we express our respect for her.

    She worked for the spread of Christianity under the guidance of Vatican; if Vatican decides to confer ‘sainthood’ to her, we should have nothing to say. But, the criterion required for formally calling her a ‘saint’ calls for ‘miracles’ attributed to her. In the name of a great worker if we proclaim and establish the occurrence of miracles in this 21st century, it would be ethically wrong.

    We are fighting for the last more than 20 years for the spread of scientific spirit and rational thought process. We have seen that belief in ‘miracles’ and supernatural powers do immense harm to people. We have investigated into the ‘miracle cure’ of Monica Besra of West Bengal in 2003 claimed by Missionaries of Charity and found it baseless. Monica was treated in Balurghat Hospital and was under medication for 9 long months. She was not cured by Mother’s picture. This false propaganda was a criminal act (The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940), seriously damaging to our society.

    Hence, our request to the honorable Pope is to desist from this farce of ‘sainthood’ and stop spreading false stories of magic cure which would only mislead our poor common people.


    On behalf of:
    Science and Rationalists’ Association of India
    Humanists’ Association

  35. David Ml says:

    I wonder why amputees don’t receive miraculous new limbs?

  36. […] Gonzalez, a former volunteer for the Missionaries of Charity, an organisation founded by soon-to-be-sainted Mother Teresa, is now actively campaigning for the charity to be shut […]