Mother Teresa’s 1979 Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech.
“These are things that break peace, but I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is
abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing – direct murder by the mother herself.”
“A gentleman came to our house and said: Mother Teresa, there is a family with eight children, they had not eaten for so long – do something. So I took some rice and I went there immediately. And I saw the children – their eyes shinning with hunger – I don’t know if you have ever seen hunger. But I have seen it very often. And [the mother] took the rice, she divided the rice, and she went out. When she came back I asked her – where did you go, what did you do? And she gave me a very simple answer: They [the neighbours] are hungry also. I didn’t bring more rice that evening because I wanted them to enjoy the joy of sharing.”
This speech has two glaring problems (highlighted in bold above). Firstly, abortion is not the greatest destroyer of peace. Abortion is a women’s right to exercise control over her body. The context to this speech was Bosnian women who were raped by Serbs. In an article in the Independent on Bosnia War Crimes, a survivor recalls, “The rapes went on day and night for a month.” And Mother Teresa says that the greatest destroyer of peace is women who are rape victims and have chosen not to have a child conceived in hate, by a rapist?
Secondly, she doesn’t bring more food to starving children so they can “enjoy the joy of sharing”? She purposely prolonged the suffering of children.
Connected to this is her response to criticism about her Missions she stated that “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s Passion. The world gains much from their suffering,” was her reply to criticism, cited by the journalist Christopher Hitchens.
Mother Teresa: Anything but a saint…a study of 287 documents about Mother Teresa by Professors Serge Larivee and Genevieve Chenard of the University of Montreal along with Carole Senechal of the University of Ottawa which raises concerns about “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.”
This research has been criticised by William Doino Jr a contributor to the Inside the Vatican magazine. He sought out people who knew Mother Teresa and then reports back on their unbiased, catholic opinion of Mother Teresa, He then criticises the researchers for not going to Calcutta and for only reviewing what other people had written. Considering his rebuttal was based on what other, presumably carefully selected, people had said his criticism is ineffective.
After reading about Mother Teresa I am more inclined towards the view that Mother Teresa has been used as propaganda by the Catholic Church. In Mother Teresa: The Crumbing of a Myth “Mother Teresa’s sanctified image does not match the actual facts, rather, they were fabricated; the beatification idea arranged by clever public relations crusades was paid for by the Vatican and produced a public Roman Catholic superstar.”
And finally, Donal Macintyre’s article, The squalid truth behind the legacy of Mother Teresa describes how he went undercover in an orphanage in Kolkata in 2005. “Their treatment was an affront to their dignity, and dangerously unhygienic.”