The Canonization of Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa will be recognized as a saint on Sept. 4, 2016, Pope Francis announced on Tuesday.

“Many will celebrate this recognition of the work and life of Nobel Laureate Mother Teresa, but there are those who question the near-universal praise bestowed upon her,” writes the Christian Science Monitor.

Having seen the wonderful work the Albanian nun accomplished — much of it in Kolkata, India — during her lifetime has been humbling. Her very human doubts about her chosen path and the fallibility of the policies she supported make for a more complex figure than often shows up in news articles.

The BBC makes passing mention of criticism — a single paragraph — surrounding Mother Teresa’s work:

She achieved worldwide acclaim for her work in Kolkata’s slums, but her critics accused her of pushing a hardline Catholicism, mixing with dictators and accepting funds from them for her charity.

The Washington Post offers some more context:

Last year, Mohan Bhagwat, the head of India’s largest Hindu nationalist organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, accused her of an “ulterior motive” — converting Indians to Christianity.

Is it possible to recognize some of the good while placing it into context of a larger picture that includes institutional failings? I should think so.

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