On Sunday, December 10, 1995, the Morning Herald of Hagerstown, Maryland, had a front page picture and story about Mother Teresa. I have been tired for many years of hearing virtually anyone and everyone using her as an example of all that's wonderful in the world. I decided to email a little letter to the editor. Since there's little likelihood that they will print my letter, I decided to just publish it myself here on my page.
A couple of people have written to criticize me for saying what I have said. Fine, that's your right. I'm actually surprised I have not heard from more critics.
My main problem is with the media. It is the media that has transformed one individual into an icon which most people have come to take unquestioningly at face value. Sort of a snowball effect.
To the Editor:
I thought you might like to know that your designation of Mother Teresa as a "Living Saint" is found by at least some of your readers as quite an inappropriate appellation. I suppose your use of it is understandable, in that this seems to be the pervasive, though uninformed, opinion about her here in the U.S.
You might do well to have a look at the new book by Christopher Hitchens on this woman. It has, in my opinion, a rather unfortunate title, but nevertheless, finally, someone has tried to alert the public to some of the ways she operates: her hobnobbing with some of the world's most vile dictators; her socking away of millions of dollars into bank accounts where nothing is done with the money - even though the donors had been assured that these funds had been used for the purposes which had been designated by the donors; first-class health care for herself - while her underlings are told to pray harder rather than get needed medical attention.
Does a saint steal? I don't think so. But what do you call it when someone keeps money that is known to have been stolen? Judge Ito, besides being involved in the O.J. case, was also involved in the Keating Savings and Loan affair. Keating was very generous in his donations to the Missionaries of Charity. The problem was, he was giving away money that wasn't his to give. When Judge Ito became aware of the source of Keating's gifts to M.T., the life-savings of many innocent victims of the scandal, he wrote to Mother Theresa, feeling certain that she would want to see the money returned to its rightful owners. But, no, no action was taken by the Missionaries. They just keep shoveling in those incoming millions into their bulging bank accounts....
Knowing several former Missionaries of Charity, I have been hearing about the behind the scenes goings-on in that order for years, and every time I hear Mother Theresa used as an example of the epitome of everything that's wonderful, it sickens me.