NZ sceptics doubt Mother Teresa's saintliness

  • 05/09/2016
Mother Teresa was canonised yesterday, on the eve of her 19th death anniversary (Reuters)
Mother Teresa was canonised yesterday, on the eve of her 19th death anniversary (Reuters)

New Zealand's sceptic community says Mother Teresa wasn't all she was cracked up to be. 

The late Catholic nun and missionary has been declared a saint, which requires a candidate to perform at least two miracles during their lifetime.

Mark Honeychurch from the NZ Skeptics Society says the two supposed miracles that led the way to Teresa's sainthood are lacking in evidence. 

In the late 1990s, a tribal woman from West Bengal claimed to have been cured of a tumor in her abdomen, using a medallion with Teresa's image on it. 

"Several of the doctors that worked on her, and even the woman's husband, have claimed in the past that it was actually the medical treatment that cured her," Mr Honeychurch says. 

"Eventually the husband changed his story, but people found out the Catholic Church has been helping the family monetarily."

And in 2008, a Brazilian man recovered from multiple abscesses in his brain and attributed his recovery to a relic of Teresa and praying to her regularly.

"The Church for a long time wouldn't even release the name of the person that had supposedly been healed," Mr Honeychurch says. 

"Again, it's all a bit dark; it's hard to get too many details. Really the quality of evidence is not what we'd expect to be able to claim a miracle."

He also says Mother Teresa's altruistic image has been overblown. 

"It turns out she seemed to have had this weird fascination with poverty where she really didn't put much effort into helping people out of poverty. She thought maybe poverty and suffering were godly things that people should go through."

Mother Teresa was canonised yesterday, on the eve of her 19th death anniversary. 

Newshub.

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