The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice


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He probes the source of the heroic status bestowed upon an Albanian nun whose only declared wish is to serve God.

The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice

He asks whether Mother Teresa's good works answer any higher purpose than the need of the world's privileged to see someone, somewhere, doing something for the Third World. He unmasks pseudo-miracles, questions Mother Teresa's fitness to adjudicate on matters of sex and reproduction, and reports on a version of saintly ubiquity which affords genial relations with dictators, corrupt tycoons and convicted frauds Mode of access: Internet.

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Books for People with Print Disabilities. For her, Calcutta is simply a front in a much larger war. Malcolm Muggeridge: 'So you wouldn't agree with people who say there are too many children in India? Mother Teresa: 'I do not agree because God always provides. He provides for the flowers and the birds, for everything in the world that he has created. And those little children are his life.

There can never be enough. Mother Teresa thought suffering was beautiful; she helped sufferers to continue suffering. Mother Teresa: 'I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people. Those prepared to listen to criticism of Mother Teresa's questionable motives and patently confused sociological policy are still inclined to believe that her work is essentially humane. Surely, they reason, there is something morally impressive in a life consecrated to charity.

If it were not for the testimony of those who have seen the shortcomings and contradictions of her work firsthand, it might be a sufficient argument, on the grounds that Mother Teresa must have done some genuine good for the world's suffering people. However, even here the record is somewhat murky and uneven, and it is qualified by the same limitations as apply to the rest of Mother Teresa's work: that such work is undertaken not for its own sake but to propagandise one highly subjective view of human nature and need, so that she may one day be counted as the beatific founder of a new order and discipline within the Church itself.

Even in the quotidian details of ostensibly 'charitable' labour, this unresolved contradiction repeatedly discloses itself. I saw a young man who had been admitted in poor shape with high fever, and the drugs prescribed had been tetracycline and paracetamol. Later a visiting doctor diagnosed probable malaria and substituted chloroquine.

Could not someone have looked at a blood film? Investigations, I was told, are seldom permissible. How about simple algorithms that might help the sisters and volunteers distinguish the curable from the incurable? Again no. Such systematic approaches are alien to the ethos of the home. Mother Teresa prefers providence to planning; her rules are designed to prevent any drift towards materialism: the sisters must remain on equal terms with the poor. Finally, how competent are the sisters at managing pain?

On a short visit, I could not judge the power of the spiritual approach, but I was disturbed to learn the formulary includes no strong analgesics. Along with the neglect of diagnosis, the lack of good analgesia marks Mother Teresa's approach as clearly separate from the hospice movement.

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I know which I prefer. It should be underlined that the state of affairs described by Dr Fox was not that obtaining in some amateur, impoverished clinic in a disaster zone. Mother Teresa has been working in Calcutta for four and a half decades, and for nearly three of them she has been favoured with immense quantities of money and material.

Her 'Home for the Dying', which was the part of her dominion visited by Dr Fox, is in no straitened condition. It is as he described it because that is how Mother Teresa wishes it to be. The neglect of what is commonly understood as proper medicine or care is not a superficial contradiction. It is the essence of the endeavour, the same essence that is evident in a cheerful sign which has been filmed on the wall of Mother Teresa's morgue. It reads,.

Christopher Hitchens: The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice

Mary Loudon, a volunteer in Calcutta who has since written extensively about the lives of nuns and religious women, has this testimony to offer about the Home for the Dying:. No chairs anywhere, there were just these stretcher beds. They're like First World War stretcher beds. There's no garden, no yard even.


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No nothing. And I thought what is this? This is two rooms with fifty to sixty men in one, fifty to sixty women in another.

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The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice
The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice
The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice
The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice
The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice
The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice
The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice
The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice

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