Well, it was only a matter of time, for Mother Teresa was always on the fast track to sainthood. She died in 1997, was put on the Fast Track immediately by John Paul II (now SAINT John Paul II), and was beatified in 2003 (one of the steps to sainthood, requiring verification of a single miracle). Now, 13 years later, she’s gotten her second miracle and will be declared a full saint on Sunday. The Catholic News is probably the best source for this:
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis will declare Blessed Teresa of Kolkata a saint at the Vatican Sept. 4.
The date was announced March 15 during an “ordinary public consistory,” a meeting of the pope, cardinals and promoters of sainthood causes that formally ends the sainthood process.
. . . Shortly after she died in 1997, St. John Paul II waived the usual five-year waiting period and allowed the opening of the process to declare her sainthood. She was beatified in 2003.
After her beatification, Missionary of Charity Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, the postulator of her sainthood cause, published a book of her letters, “Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light.” The letters illustrated how, for decades, she experienced what is described as a “dark night of the soul” in Christian spirituality; she felt that God had abandoned her. While the letters shocked some people, others saw them as proof of her steadfast faith in God, which was not based on feelings or signs that he was with her.
The date chosen for her canonization is the eve of the 19th anniversary of her death and the date previously established at the Vatican for the conclusion of the Year of Mercy pilgrimage of people like her who are engaged in works of mercy.
We all know by now what a fraud Agnes Bojaxhiu was. She courted dictators and took money from them, she used her homes to convert the sick and dying rather than help them, she was slippery in managing her funds. If you have doubts, read Christopher Hitchens’s The Missionary Position, an attack on Mother Teresa that has never been refuted, or (if you read French) the critical paper “Les côtés ténébreux de Mère Teresa” (“The dark side of Mother Teresa”), which is free online. It’s in the journal Studies in Religion, which means it was almost certainty peer reviewed; and it has a summary in English:
The impact of Mother Teresa’s work has no religious or geographical boundaries. In the four parts of this text, we try to understand this phenomenon. We first present the method used to collect the available information and then discuss a few biographical considerations to clarify her mission and the media’s contribution to her popularity. The third part identifies four stumbling blocks on her way to canonization: her rather dogmatic religious views, her way of caring for the sick, her political choices, and her suspicious management of funds that she received. Fourth, we discuss some elements of her life related to beatification, including her “night of faith,” the exorcism to which she was subjected as well as the validity of the miracle attributed to her. In conclusion, we question why the criticism of which she has been the target has been ignored by the Vatican.
And, of course, the whole procedure for determining sainthood is just as bogus, with a “devil’s advocate” (Hitchens was one in this case!) who argues against the case for sainthood but is ignored, and specious “proof” that the saint in statu nascendi brought about two miracles. In Faith Versus Fact and on this site, I wrote about those miracles. I don’t know much about the second, but the first one wasn’t a miracle at all:
The Vatican itself, which requires a miracle to beatify someone, and two miracles to make them a saint, is none too scrupulous about the medical evidence needed to elevate someone to the pantheon. The beatification of Mother Teresa, for instance, was the supposed disappearance of ovarian cancer in Monica Besra, an Indian woman who reported she was cured after looking at a picture of the nun. It turns out, though, that her tumor wasn’t cancerous but tubercular, and, more important, she’d received conventional medical treatment in a hospital, with her doctor (who wasn’t interviewed by the Vatican) taking credit for the cure.
(See also here.)
But her sainthood was always a fait accompli, for the legend of Agnes Bojaxhiu is impervious to fact, just as Catholicism itself is impervious to fact. And so, on Sunday, another person joins the pantheon of the two-thousand-odd existing saints who, by being canonized by the Vatican, now have special access to God, and special powers if you pray for them.
We may pride ourselves on being “the rational animal,” but that’s the final thing that’s bogus. How rational is Catholicism, and how rational is this phony, cooked-up way of declaring that some person gets a special telephone line to God?
h/t: J. J. Phillips