Mother Teresa was a very conservative Catholic for the post-Vatican II twentieth century Church. Though she bowed publicly in obedience to the decisions of the Second Vatican Council, she privately disapproved of priests who did not wear vestments at Mass or nuns and priests who did not wear religious clothes. She called the sari and habit that the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity were required to wear a uniform instead of a habit, to avoid the issue and keep her nuns in long religious dress. Mother Teresa also vehemently opposed any discussion of or opposition to the decisions of the pope, including rulings on birth control and abortion.
Her brother Lazar remembered that he once complained to her in childhood about a priest who beat the children with a stick. While still a child she insisted that her brother should not criticize a priest, even for violence. This attitude was expanded to include absolute surrender to the pope in her later years.
Tags: Controversy of Mother Teresa, Mother Teresa Criticism, Mother Teresa and the people who criticise her
[...] The approval of such a questionable claim has tarnished the reputation of Mother Teresa, even though any over zealousness can only be attributed to the Missionaries of Charity and the Vatican under Pope John Paul II. Mother Teresa was beatified in October 2003. Many supporters of Mother Teresa do not care about irregularities or questions about miracles. They have decided that she is a saint, and welcome any validation of that opinion by the Vatican. To qualify for sainthood, one more miracle must be attributed to Mother Teresa and approved by the Vatican. [...]
[...] San Francisco: Harper & Row Kathryn Spink, Mother Teresa: A Complete Authorized Biography (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1997) Elaine Pagels, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent (New York: Random House, 1989) Some argue that birth control kills, like abortion, but many forms of birth control merely prevent conception; they do not harm a fertilized egg. A birth control pill that prevents ovulation, for example, does not kill anything, but the Church opposes all forms of birth control except for the practice of abstinence or having unprotected sex when ovulation is not likely. [...]
[...] This failure to alleviate suffering when medication was available fueled criticism that Mother Teresa thought suffering was a good thing and forced her helpless patients to endure it. Mother Teresa expressed a belief that death means a reunion with God, but critics argued that this was no reason not to provide adequate care and take reasonable precautions to avoid injury or disease. One story illustrates this issue and the two points of view. In 1986, two sisters in her order drowned trying to go through torrential rain to staff a dispensary. [...]
[...] Her ultra-conservative views led Mother Teresa into other conflicts with women both outside and inside the Church. In 1975 she attended a Woman's Year Conference in Mexico City and claimed that a woman's place was in the home, even though she had not chosen a traditional female role for herself. She made her statement poetically, but that did not avoid the outrage about what many felt were grossly outdated views: Love begins at home. If a woman fulfills her role in the home, if there is peace in her surroundings, there will be peace in the world. [...]
[...] Mother Teresa's insistence on obedience was so extreme that one of her authorized biographers said of her, the historic struggle between Galileo and the Church, Mother Teresa would have taken the side of the Church, the side of obedient faith against radical progress based on rational evidence.” All Catholics do not agree with the Church's official views on birth control, for example. Many liberal Catholics do not oppose birth control or do not find it as reprehensible as abortion. Some support the availability of abortions in cases of rape, a risk to the mother's life, and severe deformity of the fetus. [...]
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