“The pope beatifies Mother Teresa, a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud.”


It isn’t exactly a new story, is it?

Mommie Dearest, by Christopher Hitchens (Slate)

The pope beatifies Mother Teresa, a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud.

I think it was Macaulay who said that the Roman Catholic Church deserved great credit for, and owed its longevity to, its ability to handle and contain fanaticism. This rather oblique compliment belongs to a more serious age. What is so striking about the “beatification” of the woman who styled herself “Mother” Teresa is the abject surrender, on the part of the church, to the forces of showbiz, superstition, and populism.

At times, especially in instances of superstition, piling on is fully justified. A handful of voices, calling out a monumental religious edifice? I like (and try to live) those odds.

A Critic’s Lonely Quest: Revealing the Whole Truth About Mother Teresa, by Kai Schultz (New York Times)

Taking on a global icon of peace, faith and charity is not a task for everyone, or, really, hardly anyone at all. But that is what Dr. Aroup Chatterjee has spent a good part of his life doing as one of the most vocal critics of Mother Teresa.

Dr. Chatterjee, a 58-year-old physician, acknowledged that it was a mostly solitary pursuit. “I’m the lone Indian,” he said in an interview recently. “I had to devote so much time to her. I would have paid to do that. Well, I did pay to do that.”

His task is about to become that much tougher, of course, when Mother Teresa is declared a saint next month.