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Mother Teresa: Controversy and criticism

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  1. Introduction
  2. Controversy
    1. Disputes within the Church
    2. Birth Control in India
  3. Criticism
  4. Beatification
  5. Conclusion
  6. Bibliography

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. [...]

[...] People who were close to Mother Teresa at the time say she was confused by the criticism and said, did they do Publicly she said that she had forgiven her critics, but there were never reports that Mother Teresa thought any criticism of her might be valid. Hitchens' rather extreme attack meant that more moderate criticism that came out the same year did not receive as much attention as it deserved. Dr. Robin Fox, writing for the prestigious medical journal Lancet, complained that medical care in the order's home for the dying in Calcutta was very poor. [...]

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