Mother Teresa to become a saint on Sunday

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


  1. E.A. Blair
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    It used to take decades, if not centuries, before sainthood could be declared. Next thing I know, I’ll be shopping at the local Pick ‘n’ Save and I’ll fine “Instant Saint” on the shelves.

  2. Posted August 30, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Hitch would be so proud🙂

    • bluemaas
      Posted August 30, 2016 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Wull yeah, Mr Hayward, IF this is what you are intending to mean by the late Mr Hitchens’ pride thereof her, that is (emphases mine) !

      “It is PAST time that: she was subjected to the R A T I O N A L critique that
      she has evaded so arrogantly and for so long.”

      -=- THE very last sentence written down (“Afterword,” page 105) by Mr Christopher Hitchens inside his 1995 work dedicated to Ms Gertrude and Mr Edwin Blue … … entitled The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice.


      • Posted August 30, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Note to self – irony is not internet friendly.

        His position on both sainthood and on her specifically was well established, calling her out as a friend of poverty but not of the poor, or for that matter “a lying, thieving Albanian dwarf” might seem to indicate a certain antipathy.

        • bluemaas
          Posted August 30, 2016 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          re irony or sarcasm or other of that ilk on the internet or, Mr Hayward, anywhere else: some of us are literal. Very, very, very literal.

          Time spent in courts of “law” — anywhere — will make some of us exactly and only … … that. I take just about every single statement at its face value.

          Cuz: IF I try to “read” something else in to others’ statements, THEN those reads have, in courts of “law” so goddamnmanytimes, been only to my huge and grave losses therein. I have been made to be … … so, so sorry I did.


          • Michael Waterhouse
            Posted August 30, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

            Christopher Hitchens decried the loss of irony.

            Some quotes. “The literal mind is baffled by the ironic one, …”

            “Our weapons are the ironic mind against the literal: the open mind against the credulous;…”

            • bluemaas
              Posted August 30, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

              Okay, Mr Waterhouse, upon this matter of .my. brain, Mr Hitchens’ meanings and any others of those persons trying to throw onto me the meanings of those of his quotations / his beliefs about irony in particular, well, that shall not be happening.

              Upon my and others of us who left the courtrooms and the judges and their decisionings for our last time ? When we walked out and away from them and in to the freedom of the sunshine ? Why, we resolved in y1994, to do one thing for sure … … forever: We shall NOT be put onto .the defensive. ever, ever, ever again.

              That shall not be happening.

              • Posted August 30, 2016 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

                Now _that_ is what I call a reasonable, well reasoned, and articulate answer!

            • Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:12 am | Permalink

              The literal mind is baffled quote is great! I shared the entire thing on FB, as I think it’s fitting for the current election cycle in the United States. It’s certainly baffling in multiple ways and isn’t wanting for irony either.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted August 30, 2016 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

          Your irony was obvious to me, at least.


          • Diane G.
            Posted August 30, 2016 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

            Ditto. How could you even interpret that non-ironically? Can’t think of any reasoning that would

        • Posted August 31, 2016 at 6:04 am | Permalink

          He was apparently carried away by his antipathy. I mean “Albanian” and “dwarf”.

  3. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    In 1969, a lot of saints were removed from the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic church in part (it is suspected) due to widespread doubts by many historians that these folk ever existed, including the perennially popular St. Christopher.

    This seems to have been sufficiently culturally disorienting that Pappa JP2 went around canonizing more saints in his reign than any previous pontiff ever (while at the same time doing a lot of apologizing for past Catholic mischief- something Billy Crystal had a funny joke about that slips my mind).

    Teresa was popularized in the West by writer Malcolm Muggeridge whom Christopher Hitchens disliked for a whole series of reasons (he has several essays critical of him in many anthologies). Muggeridge was also being one of the chief foes of Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”.

    One of Hitchen’s chief sources was a nun who worked closely with Teresa.

    A good book on the whole canonization process is “Making Saints: How The Catholic Church Determines Who Becomes A Saint, Who Doesn’T, And Why” by Kenneth Woodward.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 30, 2016 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

      “In 1969 a lot of saints were removed […] including the perennially popular St. Christopher.”

      Bah! Came too late to save me my embarrassing first name. Yeah, it’s Christopher. Usually abbreviated to Chris or, on rare but bizarre occasions, Christ.

      Ah well…


      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:06 am | Permalink

        You share your name with Christopher Hitchens, Reeve, and Lee, all honorable men.

        • Posted August 31, 2016 at 6:08 am | Permalink

          And Columbus.

        • Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

          I share my name with Christopher Buckley, though unlike that Buckley and Christopher Hitchens, I go by Chris. I feel going by Christopher would entail I have notoriety that I certainly lack. Plus, many systems seem to have an issue with dealing with a first name of 11 letters. My driver’s license currently has me listed as “Buckley, C, M” for that reason. It’s a real pleasure when booking airline tickets and the system insists my first name cannot be 1 letter. I finally gave up and remedied that problem by obtaining a passport card; which, unlike a passport, fits nicely in my wallet and I use that for domestic travel so I can book with my actual name.

  4. Posted August 30, 2016 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I love the cat in nunly regalia.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted August 31, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      OMG – it’s a cat!

  5. Pliny the in Between
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Ahh, a little trip down memory lane – did this one in May ’13

  6. BobTerrace
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Since it doesn’t seem to matter what they did in life, good or bad, I think we should all be declared saints. I nominate Saint PCC(E), Saint E. A., Saint GBJames, Saint Simon, Saint Bluemass, Sait JonLynnHarvey, Saint Charlene, Saint Pliny…

    • bluemaas
      Posted August 30, 2016 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      I’ll take it, too BobTerrace, ‘fcourse, however only if I can please be beatified as Saint bluemAAs, instead !

      : ) heh.heh.

      ps IF ya’ think my last name is difficult to get correctly spelled (as the b i g River in lovely Holland it is), then it is of absolutely no freakin’ wonder then as to WHY my first name is, for decades now, one adopted from the icy floes (or throes) of a shared Winter Solstice – birthday with my belovéd father … … cuz m’mother ? She truly dumped a number on me on my certificate’s birth first name – spelling.

      The Donald, were I his opposing presidential candidate ? He soooo would’ve had a heyday allegedly trying to tie me to an initial foreign – birthing !

    • GBJames
      Posted August 30, 2016 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      I was baptized Catholic. Does that help my case?

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted August 30, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure that SNL’s Father Guido Sarducci was being serious when he said most of Elizabeth Ann Seton’s miracles were really card tricks, but I’m afraid most of mine are.

      But thanks.

  7. Claudia Baker
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    ‘…she experienced what is described as “a dark night of the soul” in Christian spirituality; she felt that God had abandoned her…others saw [this] as proof of her steadfast faith in God…”‘.

    Ah, the old Christian have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too, trick. The more embarrassing Teresa’s letters are to the Catholics, (that she had perhaps lost her faith), the more they cling to “shows how strong her faith was”.

    I want to say cognizant dissonance, but, dishonesty, exploitation, corruption etc. come to mind.

    Saints pull in a lot of dosh, too, I’ll bet. What with your relics & miracles and what-not.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    “Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.”

    — Luke 6:26

  9. Posted August 30, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    “St. John Paul II waived the usual five-year waiting period”

    I find it amusing that 5 years, after retirement, is also the waiting period for being inducted into most sports halls of fame. I wonder if she gets a bust in St. Peters?

  10. Kevin
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Mother Teresa was a conflicted human. Possibly a closeted sadist as well as a highly functioning sociopath. This is the future of sainthood for the 21st century: someone who has ridden the wagon so far off the trail there is no trace of empathy.

  11. Posted August 30, 2016 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Here’s another vote for the cat in nunly regalia!

    Carl Kruse

  12. Posted August 30, 2016 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    We cannot know the mind of God, for he is infinite, mysterious and beyond understanding. Well, unless of course we give ourselves a 5 year waiting period to verify his thinking.

    On another note, why aren’t these miracles ever done while the saint is alive? We could all know we’re on the fast track to Heaven if we could materialize a picture of Jesus on burnt toast or a dog’s asshole.

  13. Posted August 30, 2016 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Most Revolutionary Act and commented:
    Excellent exposes of the fraud known as Mother Teresa – about to be promoted to sent. Much of this material comes from the late Christopher Hitchens’ book The Missionary Position. I highly recommend it.

  14. Heather Hastie
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, that link to Studies in Religion is one that only works for people who have access via a university.

  15. stephenbrodie
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Even after leaning all that we have come to know about this woman the church is still going ahead with the saint thing. Odd beyond belief.

    • Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Come on. Last year, Pope Frances canonized Junipero Serra, whose saintly actions included slaughtering Native Americans, conversion via threat of death, and burning “witches” at the stake.

      The canonization of Mother Theresa, by comparison means the Church is happily embracing 19th century Modernity. Maybe by 2100, they’ll start embracing saints who actually apply knowledge about modern medical care and comforting the sick. Or, in an overly optimistic view, they’ll have completely crumbled into a meaningless shell of their former selves.

  16. Posted August 30, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Hope you get well soon, dear PCCE! Becoming ill after dealing with this topic may be only a reasonable response on your part. But, also maybe, Mother Teresa is practicing anti-atheist miracles in advance of her canonization.

  17. jeffery
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Why, EVERYONE needs a patron Saint to intercede on their behalf; even narco- traffickers have several:

  18. Posted August 30, 2016 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    So… the Catholic Pantheon gets its 6200-somethingth god… errr… demi god. No, damn it, that’s not it! Saint – yes, “saint” is the word this pretend-monotheistic religion uses.

  19. jredwood
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Every big institution needs a Hall of Fame. I prefer to worship Saints Musial, Gibson and Brock, however.

    • Posted August 31, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      I’ll take that College of Cardinals any day over Bergoglio, Ratzinger, and Wojtyla.

  20. JoeB
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Lol, jredwood; they were all Cardinals, after all. I have convinced myself that I witnessed St. Stan’s 5 homers in a double-header at old Sportsmans Park on N. Grand, but it is hard to reconstruct the train journey from Decatur and back. I have a soft spot for the lesser deities: Red Shoendienst, Vinegar-Bend Mizell!

    • Diane G.
      Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      “…they were all Cardinals, after all…”

      Ha ha!

  21. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t they just sanctify* Adolf bloody Hitler while they’re at it…

    *if that’s the right term


    (I was going to say Vlad Dracula but, frankly, his P.R. was terrible)

    • Diane G.
      Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      “Beatify,” please!

  22. Dimitris Klaras
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    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?

    “Iceland unearths rock to appease angry elves”

    We speak about this Iceland little nation that statistics declare it almost religious free! The most atheistic in the world!

    • Posted August 31, 2016 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      Well, they don’t believe in g*d(s), only in elves🙂.

  23. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    Mother Teresa to become a saint on Sunday

    Magic. And for my next trick…

  24. Posted August 31, 2016 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.

  25. Posted August 31, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Well … The Onion responded with this back in 1997:

    “Mother Teresa Sent To Hell In Wacky Afterlife Mix-Up”–973

    You think this news would prohibit canonization.

  26. Bob
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Posthumous awards do little to advance your career.

  27. Posted August 31, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    The fetishization of suffering by the undisputed Catholic queen of false humility.

  28. Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Ugh. I remember a video we saw in the “Passage to More than India” course about her. Even then I knew something was wrong from reading alt.atheism for a year or so by then. But even that aside, the fact that it seemed so syncophantic and hagiographical bothered me. I mean, I’ve been to events where someone is genuinely honoured, and it wasn’t like *that*.

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