'Darker side' of Mother Teresa: A documentary claims she covered up the worst excesses of church

NEW DELHIEdited By: Nikhil PandeyUpdated: May 09, 2022, 12:11 PM IST

Mother Teresa. (Image source: Wikipedia) Photograph:(Others)

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Mother Teresa Documentary: A new three-part Sky documentary series called 'Mother Teresa: For the Love of God,' which interviews some of her closest friends and harshest detractors, offers a full reappraisal of one of the twentieth century's most famous woman.

Nobel Laureate Mother Teresa was a Catholic nun who dedicated her life to caring for the impoverished and dying in Kolkata's slums during her lifetime. However, a new documentary on Mother Teresa is said to reveal the'saint's' darker side.

"She was able to put an end to wars, befriend presidents, establish a global orphanage empire, and have sick inmates released from prison. Mother Teresa, on the other hand, covered up for the Catholic church's greatest excesses and seemed more drawn to poverty and suffering than to genuinely helping people escape it, Daily Mail has reported.

'Mother Teresa: For the Love of God' is a new three-part Sky documentary series "that speaks with some of her closest friends and harshest detractors and serves as a complete reappraisal of one of the century's most famous women."

Mary Johnson, who worked with Mother Teresa for 20 years, says, "Her spirituality was connected to Jesus on the cross."

"She thought being poor was good because Jesus was poor. It's schizophrenic," Mary Johnson was quoted as saying by the report.

Her stance on the the growing scandal of child abuse by priests was controversial after Reverend Donald McGuire was suspected of abuse, she wrote a letter to the authorities highlighting her 'confidence and trust' in him.This allowed McGuire to abuse hundreds of boys for another decade, before eventually being put away.

According to the charges made in the documentary, which aired on Sky Documentaries, Mother Teresa covered up for the Catholic church's worst excesses and seemed more attracted to poverty and agony than truly helping people escape it.

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More importantly, Mother Teresa's final decade was possibly her most challenging. She was getting on in years, but the church needed her help to save it from the mounting scandal of child abuse by priests. 

"They'd send her to towns where scandals were uncovered," Mary explains. "She has the power to shift the narrative."

Mother Teresa was born to Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910 in Skopje, now North Macedonia, to a poor household after her father died when she was eight years old. She found refuge in the church and decided to become a nun when she was 12 years old.

She came to Dublin at the age of 18 to join the Catholic Sisters of Loreto order, and a year later to Calcutta, now Kolkata, to teach. Witnessing the agony and death caused by the Bengal famine of 1943 – when scores of dead bodies were left lying in the streets – had a tremendous impression on her, and she claimed Jesus spoke to her on a train three years later, giving her new instructions.