The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice

The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice

Christopher Hitchens

Language: English

Pages: 128

ISBN: 1455523003

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


"A religious fundamentalist, a political operative, a primitive sermonizer, and an accomplice of worldly secular powers. Her mission has always been of this kind. The irony is that she has never been able to induce anybody to believe her. It is past time that she was duly honored and taken at her word."

Among his many books, perhaps none have sparked more outrage than THE MISSIONARY POSITION, Christopher Hitchens's meticulous study of the life and deeds of Mother Teresa.

A Nobel Peace Prize recipient beatified by the Catholic Church in 2003, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was celebrated by heads of state and adored by millions for her work on behalf of the poor. In his measured critique, Hitchens asks only that Mother Teresa's reputation be judged by her actions-not the other way around.

With characteristic élan and rhetorical dexterity, Hitchens eviscerates the fawning cult of Teresa, recasting the Albanian missionary as a spurious, despotic, and megalomaniacal operative of the wealthy who long opposed measures to end poverty, and fraternized, for financial gain, with tyrants and white-collar criminals throughout the world.

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acceptedthe 'Good Samaritan'award, again with many words of seH-deprecation. Then straight to Washington,to receive the John n Kennedy award on 16 October.The next year,with the auctionin full swing,the governmentof India improved on its relatively lowly Miraculous tntus prize and gave her a larger one, in a ceremony at which Indira Gandhipublicly wept. In Lg73it was Prince Philip's turn to make an emotionaldemonstration,which he did while presentingthe Tbmpleton Prize'for the promotion of faith

other 'soft target' elementsof the Nicaraguansystem. And the contrasbelieved- almost predictably - that they had on their side a miraculousVirgrn who had appearedin the remote northern regions of the country. What they assuredly did have on their side was the most powerful state on earth, which openly announcedthat it would bring Nicaraguato heel by increasing the poverty and destitution of its wavering citizens.A consistent case might be madefor following such a policy and for employing the

associatirlrt coincidental? One last set of photographscloses this l)or-tfolio. by Behold Mother Tbresain prayerful attitu(l(',l'lartl

backedup as far as the eye could see', she arrived at Mother Teresa'sNew Delhi orphanage, where, again to quote from the reporter on the spot, 'babieswho normally wear nothing but thin cotton diapers that do little but promote rashesand exacerbatethe reek of urine had been outtitted for the morning in American Pampersand newly-stitchedfloral pinafores'. one good turn deserves another, and so Mother THE M I SSI O NARY PO SI TI O N Tbresa's subsequent visit to Washington gav() both Mrs Clinton

felt rather cheated by the anti-Calcutta propagandaput out by the Muggeridgesof the world. Arrd when I made my way to the offices of the Missionariesof Charity on Bose Road,I receivedsomethingof a shock. First was the inscription over the dool which read 'He that loveth correction loveth knowledge'.I don't know the provenanceof the quotatiotr,but it had something of the ring of the workhouse about it. Mother Tbresa herself gave me a guided tour. f did not particularly care for the way that

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