Pope Francis has approved Mother Teresa’s elevation to sainthood status. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the nun who dedicated her life to helping the poor, will be made a saint of the Roman Catholic Church at a ceremony on Sept. 4.
Pope Francis made the announcement at a meeting of cardinals to give the final approval to several sainthood causes. Last December, he cleared the way for sainthood for the Nobel peace laureate, who died in 1997 at the age of 87. Francis met Teresa before he became pope, in 1994, and later joked that she had seemed so formidable he ‘would have been scared if she had been my mother superior’.
Others were much harsher in their judgement with the likes of Germaine Greer and polemicist Christopher Hitchens accusing her of contributing to the misery of the poor with her strident opposition to contraception and abortion.
In her Nobel acceptance speech she described terminations of pregnancies as ‘direct murder by the mother herself.’ Questions have also been raised over the Missionaries of Charity’s finances, as well as conditions in the order’s hospices. A series of her letters published in 2007 also caused some consternation among admirers, as it became clear that she had suffered crises of faith for most of her life. Read more