Like a tennis ball, poor St. Teresa of Calcutta is getting whacked from both sides. In an article for Breitbart, Thomas Williams explains why the left hates Mother Teresa.
The Washington Post published a column, “Why Mother Teresa is Still No Saint to Many of her Critics,” while Salon called her “repugnant” and accused, “it is difficult to remember her legacy as anything other than an inefficient, sanctimonious and wholly ideological franchise.”
Meanwhile the New York Times gave Indian doctor Aroup Chatterjee a soapbox for his continued attacks on Mother Teresa.
Williams suspects that beneath the left’s attacks on Mother Teresa is their hatred of her pro-life stance. The tough little sister had the nerve to use her Nobel Peace prize speech, her speech at a Washington Prayer Breakfast and a Harvard commencement address to speak out against abortion saying famously, “The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion” and “If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”
Williams quotes an essay published by Planned Parenthood entitled, Mother Teresa the Woman of My Nightmares in which Saint Teresa is described as “this very successful old and withered person, who doesn’t look in the least like a woman, especially when she raises her clenched fists in prayer.”
Elsewhere Planned Parenthood’s propaganda merchants fumed, “[Mother Teresa] has become for us the symbol of all that is bad in motherhood and womanhood, an image with which we do not wish to be associated.”
Williams believes left wingers are also repulsed by Mother Teresa’s religiosity. With utter simplicity she stated, “I see Jesus in every human being…I say to myself, this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene; I must wash him and tend to him. I serve because I love Jesus.”
Surprisingly, the attacks on Mother Teresa don’t come only from the atheist secularists. While they were annoyed by her high octane Catholicism, some Catholic conservatives think she wasn’t Catholic enough. Extreme traditionalists are suspicious of Mother Teresa for several reasons.
Writing on his blog, aka Catholic, Louis Verrecchio criticizes Catholics who applaud Mother Teresa’s pro-life stance. He has the idea that to be pro-life is to substitute an ideology for Catholicism. He then goes on to blame Mother Teresa for not being a true Catholic. Instead she is a crypto-Freemason because she eschewed overt evangelization and proselytism.
“Truly” he writes, “Mother Teresa could very well be considered the Patron Saint of both Free Masonry and Pro-Lifeism.”
Meanwhile, writing at Tradition in Action website, Marion T. Horvat PhD asks, “Is Mother Teresa of Calcutta a Saint? If you have to ask, I guess the answer is ‘No.'”
Horvat goes on to question Mother Teresa’s orthodoxy from selected pull quotes, criticizes both her position not to proselytize while she also criticizes the gentle form of baptism the nuns used when the dying asked to be baptized. Tradition in Action piles on the anti-Mother Teresa verbiage with a collection of articles entitled, “Mother Teresa Prays to Buddha,” “Doubts About the Orthodoxy of Mother Teresa,” and “The Pedophile Spiritual Director of Mother Teresa.”
Should Mother Teresa be above all criticism? Of course not, but the criticism from both the right and the left is rarely balanced or objective. The odd thing is that both radical traditionalists and radical leftists are united in their dislike. Shakespeare said “misery makes strange bedfellows.” It would seem Mother Teresa does too.
Rather than undermine her reputation, the attacks on Mother Teresa are a good indicator of her authenticity. When a person is attacked from only one side of the ideological divide one suspects that they are on the other side. However, whenever a person is attacked from both liberals and conservatives they must be getting it just about right.
At the very heart of her life and ministry was Mother Teresa’s devotion to Jesus Christ and his gospel. In this life she must have heard his words, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.”
In her present life no doubt those words are still echoing.