The image of Mother Teresa as one of the most inspirational people of the 20th century is being called into question by a study conducted in Canada which calls her "anything but a saint," The Times of India reports.
In the report, which was undertaken by universities in Ottwa and Montreal, the researchers call the late nun's care of the sick and dying as "dubious", and her political contacts "questionable."
Mother Teresa is most well-known for her work in Calcutta, India, one of the most poverty stricken places in the world. In 1979 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She waived the $190,000 prize fund, and insisted the money be given to the poor in India. This new report, published in the Journal of Studies in Religion/Sciences, claims that the saintly nun has "suspicious" financial arrangements, which saw money transferred through a series of bank accounts. Moneys that were supposed to be to aid her relief efforts in India.
Other shocking allegations about the Albanian-born nun include that some of the many shelters she set up for the poverty stricken were detrimental to helping the poor. That many died because of the poor conditions they were living in.
In 1999, a Gallup poll found Mother Teresa to be the most admired person of the 20th century by Americans.
This report was undertaken by Dr. Serge Larivie and Dr. Genevieve Chenard, Dr. Larivie has said on Mother Teresa's finances:
Given the parsimonious management of Mother Teresa's works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone?
Mother Teresa, born Agnes Gonxha Bojuxhio in Albania, died in 1997. In 2003, she was given beatification by Pope John Paul II. At the time of her death she was one miracle away from sainthood.
It's unknown what kind of impact this report will have on Mother Teresa's standing within the Catholic Church, or how much attention the church will pay to it (They have bigger fish to fry right now).
The study also states that Mother Teresa had severely right-wing Catholic fundamentalist opinions on "abortion, contraception, and divorce." There also reports of a link with Haiti's brutal Duvalier regime, which killed 30,000 Haitians over a thirty year period.
Dr. Larivie did concede that:
If the extraordinary image of Mother Teresa conveyed in the collective imagination has encouraged humanitarian initiatives that are genuinely engaged with those crushed by poverty, we can only rejoice.
It is likely that she has inspired many humanitarian workers whose actions have truly relieved the suffering of the destitute and addressed the causes of poverty and isolation without being extolled by the media…Nevertheless, the media coverage of Mother Teresa could have been a little more rigorous.