Sunday, March 3, 2013

Myth created by Vatican: Mother Teresa's altruism - Full Text of study by Serge Larivee et al

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http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.com/2013/03/myth-created-by-vatican-mother-teresas.html


Myth created by Vatican: Mother Teresa's altruism - Full Text of study by Serge Larivee et al 

Mother Teresa's altruism and generosity claimed to be a 'myth'
By ANI | ANI – 23 hours ago

Washington, Mar 2 (ANI): The myth of altruism and generosity surrounding Mother Teresa has been dispelled by a group of researchers, who claim that her hallowed image-which does not stand up to analysis of the facts-was constructed, and that her beatification was orchestrated by an effective media relations campaign.

Serge Larivee and Genevieve Chenard of University of Montreal's Department of Psychoeducation and Carole Senechal of the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Education have made the claims.

"While looking for documentation on the phenomenon of altruism for a seminar on ethics, one of us stumbled upon the life and work of one of Catholic Church's most celebrated woman and now part of our collective imagination-Mother Teresa-whose real name was Agnes Gonxha," Professor Larivee, who led the research said.

"The description was so ecstatic that it piqued our curiosity and pushed us to research further," Larivee said.

As a result, the three researchers collected 502 documents on the life and work of Mother Teresa.

After eliminating 195 duplicates, they consulted 287 documents to conduct their analysis, representing 96 percent of the literature on the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity (OMC). Facts debunk the myth of Mother Teresa.

In their article, Larivee and his colleagues also cite a number of problems not take into account by the Vatican in Mother Teresa's beatification process, such as "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."

At the time of her death, Mother Teresa had opened 517 missions welcoming the poor and sick in more than 100 countries.

The missions have been described as "homes for the dying" by doctors visiting several of these establishments in Calcutta.

Two-thirds of the people coming to these missions hoped to a find a doctor to treat them, while the other third lay dying without receiving appropriate care.

The doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food, and no painkillers.

The problem is not a lack of money-the Foundation created by Mother Teresa has raised hundreds of millions of dollars-but rather a particular conception of suffering and death.

"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, cites the journalist Christopher Hitchens.

Nevertheless, when Mother Teresa required palliative care, she received it in a modern American hospital.

Mother Teresa was generous with her prayers but rather miserly with her foundation's millions when it came to humanity's suffering.

During numerous floods in India or following the explosion of a pesticide plant in Bhopal, she offered numerous prayers and medallions of the Virgin Mary but no direct or monetary aid, the researchers said.

On the other hand, she had no qualms about accepting the Legion of Honour and a grant from the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti.

Millions of dollars were transferred to the MCO's various bank accounts, but most of the accounts were kept secret, Larivee said.

"Given the parsimonious management of Mother Theresa's works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone?" Larivee said.

Despite these disturbing facts, how did Mother Teresa succeed in building an image of holiness and infinite goodness? According to the three researchers, her meeting in London in 1968 with the BBC's Malcom Muggeridge, an anti-abortion journalist who shared her right-wing Catholic values, was crucial.

Muggeridge decided to promote Teresa, who consequently discovered the power of mass media.

In 1969, he made a eulogistic film of the missionary, promoting her by attributing to her the "first photographic miracle," when it should have been attributed to the new film stock being marketed by Kodak.

Afterwards, Mother Teresa travelled throughout the world and received numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize.

In her acceptance speech, on the subject of Bosnian women who were raped by Serbs and now sought abortion, she said: "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."

Following her death, the Vatican decided to waive the usual five-year waiting period to open the beatification process.

The miracle attributed to Mother Theresa was the healing of a woman, Monica Besra, who had been suffering from intense abdominal pain.

The woman testified that she was cured after a medallion blessed by Mother Theresa was placed on her abdomen.

Her doctors thought otherwise: the ovarian cyst and the tuberculosis from which she suffered were healed by the drugs they had given her.

The Vatican, nevertheless, concluded that it was a miracle. Mother Teresa's popularity was such that she had become untouchable for the population, which had already declared her a saint.

"What could be better than beatification followed by canonization of this model to revitalize the Church and inspire the faithful especially at a time when churches are empty and the Roman authority is in decline?" Larivee and his colleagues said.

Despite Mother Teresa's dubious way of caring for the sick by glorifying their suffering instead of relieving it, Serge Larivee and his colleagues point out the positive effect of the Mother Teresa myth.

"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 Theresa could have been a little more rigorous," they said.

The research is set to be published in the journal Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses. (ANI)

http://in.news.yahoo.com/mother-teresas-altruism-generosity-claimed-myth-052026363.html

See: http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.com/2013/03/mother-teresa-no-saint-but-saint-of.html

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Mother Teresa, NO saint, but 'saint of the media'. How Vatican creates myths --Full text of study (Serge Larivee et al, Jan. 2013) 

Mother Teresa 'saint of the media', controversial study says
Mar 2, 2013, 07.20AM IST TNN[ Kounteya Sinha ]

The controversial study called Religieuses says that Teresa — known across the world as the apostle of the dying and the downtrodden — actually felt it was beautiful to see the poor suffer.

LONDON: A study conducted by Canadian researchers has called Mother Teresa "anything but a saint", a creation of an orchestrated and effective media campaign who was generous with her prayers but miserly with her foundation's millions when it came to humanity's suffering. 

The controversial study, to be published this month in the journal of studies in religion/sciences called Religieuses, says that Teresa — known across the world as the apostle of the dying and the downtrodden — actually felt it was beautiful to see the poor suffer. 

According to the study, the Vatican overlooked the crucial human side of Teresa — her dubious way of caring for the sick by glorifying their suffering instead of relieving it. 

Instead, the Vatican went ahead with her beatification followed by canonization "to revitalize the Church and inspire the faithful especially at a time when churches are empty and the Roman authority is in decline". 

Researchers Serge Larivee and Genevieve Chenard from the University of Montreal's department of psychoeducation, and Carole Senechal of the University of Ottawa's faculty of education, analysed published writings about Mother Teresa and concluded that her hallowed image, "which does not stand up to analysis of the facts, was constructed, and that her beatification was orchestrated by an effective media campaign". 

According to Larivee, facts debunk Teresa's myth. He says that the Vatican, before deciding on Teresa's beatification, did not take into account "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 ... abortion, contraception, and divorce." 

At the time of her death, Teresa had 517 missions or "homes for the dying" as described by doctors visiting several of these establishments in Kolkata. They welcomed the poor and sick in more than 100 countries. Two-thirds of the people coming to these missions hoped to a find a doctor to treat them, while the other third lay dying without receiving apt care. 

'Miracle of medicine' 

According to the study, the doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions and a shortage of actual care, food and painkillers. They say that the problem was not a paucity of funds as the Order of the Missionaries of Charity successfully raised hundreds of millions of dollars. Researchers said that when it came to her own treatment, "she received it in a modern American hospital". 

The three researchers also dug into records of her meeting in London in 1968 with the BBC's Malcom Muggeridge who had strong views against abortion and shared Mother Teresa's right-wing Catholic values. 

The researchers say Muggeridge had decided to promote Teresa. In 1969, he made a eulogistic film on the missionary, promoting her by attributing to her the "first photographic miracle", when it should have been attributed to the new film stock being marketed by Kodak. 

Following her death, the Vatican decided to waive the usual five-year waiting period to open the beatification process. According to the researchers, one of the miracles attributed to Mother Theresa is the healing of Monica Besra, who suffered from intense abdominal pain, after a medallion blessed by her was placed on Besra's abdomen. 

Larivee said, "Her doctors thought otherwise: the ovarian cyst and the tuberculosis from which she suffered were healed by the drugs they had given her. The Vatican, nevertheless, concluded that it was a miracle. Mother Teresa's popularity was such that she had become untouchable for the population, which had already declared her a saint." 

Larivee however signs off on a surprisingly positive note and says there could also be a positive effect of the Mother Teresa myth. "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," they signed off. 

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http://m.timesofindia.com/world/uk/Mother-Teresa-saint-of-the-media-controversial-study-says/articleshow/18760028.cms

MOTHER TERESA: ANYTHING BUT A SAINT…

The myth of altruism and generosity surrounding Mother Teresa is dispelled in a paper by Serge Larivée and Genevieve Chenard of University of Montreal's Department of Psychoeducation and Carole Sénéchal of the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Education.

The paper will be published in the March issue of the journal Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses and is an analysis of the published writings about Mother Teresa. Like the journalist and author Christopher Hitchens, who is amply quoted in their analysis, the researchers conclude that her hallowed image—which does not stand up to analysis of the facts—was constructed, and that her beatification was orchestrated by an effective media relations campaign.

"While looking for documentation on the phenomenon of altruism for a seminar on ethics, one of us stumbled upon the life and work of one of Catholic Church's most celebrated woman and now part of our collective imagination—Mother Teresa—whose real name was Agnes Gonxha," says Professor Larivée, who led the research. "The description was so ecstatic that it piqued our curiosity and pushed us to research further."

As a result, the three researchers collected 502 documents on the life and work of Mother Teresa. After eliminating 195 duplicates, they consulted 287 documents to conduct their analysis, representing 96% of the literature on the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity (OMC). Facts debunk the myth of Mother Teresa

In their article, Serge Larivée and his colleagues also cite a number of problems not take into account by the Vatican in Mother Teresa's beatification process, such as "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."

'The sick must suffer like Christ on the cross'

At the time of her death, Mother Teresa had opened 517 missions welcoming the poor and sick in more than 100 countries. The missions have been described as "homes for the dying" by doctors visiting several of these establishments in Calcutta. Two-thirds of the people coming to these missions hoped to a find a doctor to treat them, while the other third lay dying without receiving appropriate care. The doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food, and no painkillers. The problem is not a lack of money—the Foundation created by Mother Teresa has raised hundreds of millions of dollars—but rather a particular conception of suffering and death: "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, cites the journalist Christopher Hitchens. Nevertheless, when Mother Teresa required palliative care, she received it in a modern American hospital.

Mother Teresa's questionable politics and shadowy accounting

Mother Teresa was generous with her prayers but rather miserly with her foundation's millions when it came to humanity's suffering. During numerous floods in India or following the explosion of a pesticide plant in Bhopal, she offered numerous prayers and medallions of the Virgin Mary but no direct or monetary aid. On the other hand, she had no qualms about accepting the Legion of Honour and a grant from the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti. Millions of dollars were transferred to the MCO's various bank accounts, but most of the accounts were kept secret, Larivée says. "Given the parsimonious management of Mother Theresa's works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone?"

The grand media plan for Mother Teresa's holiness

Despite these disturbing facts, how did Mother Teresa succeed in building an image of holiness and infinite goodness? According to the three researchers, her meeting in London in 1968 with the BBC's Malcom Muggeridge, an anti-abortion journalist who shared her right-wing Catholic values, was crucial. Muggeridge decided to promote Teresa, who consequently discovered the power of mass media. In 1969, he made a eulogistic film of the missionary, promoting her by attributing to her the "first photographic miracle," when it should have been attributed to the new film stock being marketed by Kodak. Afterwards, Mother Teresa travelled throughout the world and received numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize. In her acceptance speech, on the subject of Bosnian women who were raped by Serbs and now sought abortion, she said: "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."

Following her death, the Vatican decided to waive the usual five-year waiting period to open the beatification process. The miracle attributed to Mother Theresa was the healing of a woman, Monica Besra, who had been suffering from intense abdominal pain. The woman testified that she was cured after a medallion blessed by Mother Theresa was placed on her abdomen. Her doctors thought otherwise: the ovarian cyst and the tuberculosis from which she suffered were healed by the drugs they had given her. The Vatican, nevertheless, concluded that it was a miracle. Mother Teresa's popularity was such that she had become untouchable for the population, which had already declared her a saint. "What could be better than beatification followed by canonization of this model to revitalize the Church and inspire the faithful especially at a time when churches are empty and the Roman authority is in decline?" Larivée and his colleagues ask.

Positive effect of the Mother Teresa myth

Despite Mother Teresa's dubious way of caring for the sick by glorifying their suffering instead of relieving it, Serge Larivée and his colleagues point out the positive effect of the Mother Teresa myth: "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 Theresa could have been a little more rigorous."

About the study

The study was conducted by Serge Larivée, Department of psychoeducation, University of Montreal, Carole Sénéchal, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, and Geneviève Chénard, Department of psychoeducation, University of Montreal.

The printed version, available only in French, will be published in March 2013 in issue 42 of Studies in Religion / Sciences religieuses.

http://scienceblog.com/60730/mother-teresa-anything-but-a-saint/


Official biography of Mother Teresa published by the Vatican: http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_20031019_madre-teresa_en.html

Les côtés ténébreux de Mère Teresa
Serge Larivée serge.larivee@umontreal.ca
Université de Montréal
Carole Sénéchal
Université d'Ottawa
Geneviève Chénard
Université de Montréal

Abstract

L'impact de l'œuvre de Mère Teresa n'a pas de frontières géographiques ni religieuses. Dans les quatre parties de ce texte, nous tentons de comprendre ce phénomène. Nous présentons d'abord la méthode utilisée pour colliger les informations disponibles, puis nous évoquons quelques repères biographiques qui permettent de comprendre sa mission et la contribution des médias à sa popularité. La troisième partie identifie quatre pierres d'achoppement sur le chemin de sa canonisation : son opinion religieuse plutôt dogmatique, sa manière de soigner les malades, ses choix politiques et sa gestion douteuse des montants d'argent qu'elle a reçus. Quatrièmement, nous abordons quelques éléments de sa vie relatifs à sa béatification, dont sa « nuit de la foi », l'exorcisme dont elle a été l'objet ainsi que la validité du miracle qui lui a été attribué. En conclusion, nous nous interrogeons sur les raisons pour lesquelles les critiques dont elle fait l'objet ont été ignorées par le Vatican.

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.

http://sir.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/01/15/0008429812469894
The online version of this article can be found at:
DOI: 10.1177/0008429812469894
Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses published online 15 January 2013
Serge Larivée, Carole Sénéchal and Geneviève Chénard
Les côtés ténébreux de Mère Teresa

Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses
http://sir.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/01/15/0008429812469894.full.pdf+html


http://www.docstoc.com/docs/147462173/Les-cotes-tenebreux-de-Mere-Teresa-(Serge-Larivee-et-al-Jan-2013)

Studies in Religion_Sciences Religieuses-2013-Larivée-00084298124698941

Les cotes tenebreux de Mere Teresa (Serge Larivee et al, Jan. 2013)


1 comment:

jayasree said...

From: Balaraman S
Date: Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 7:20 AM
Subject: Myth Created by Vatican Mother Teresas' Altruism
To: Jayasree Saranathan


Dear Jayasree Mam,

I was not surprised by reading the post on Mother Theresa. The christian missionary channels are very good in marketing their wares to the gullible public in contrast to the lack of such marketing savvy of Hindu missions.

Please recollect the controversy the press and TV created when the then Chief Election Commissioner Mr. T. N. Seshan attended the funeral of Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Maha Swami in Jan. 94. He had made an air dash at his own expense to attend the funeral.

But our "Secular" press, TV and politicians could not digest it. They behaved as if he had committed murder by attending the funeral!

Their question was "How could a government servant attend the funeral of a hindu mission chief when officially the government follows "Secular" policies?"

In contrast when Mother Theresa passed away, her funeral was live telecast with all the top officials of the government namely the PM, President, Sonia Gandhi et al and Hilary Clinton the then First Lady of the US as also all the opponent party leaders attending it in Sept 97.

Even at that time there were some comments that Mother Theresa's financial matters were somewhat controversial but the full details were not published or were not available.

In contrast the Maha swami had a spotless reputation in every matter whether financial or spiritual. But if anybody even praised him in the "secular" press they were treated as criminals!

God help this country. That's all I can say.

Bala