If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone



Mother Teresa of Calcutta, once the irritating Blessed Teresa of Calcutta as a result of one of the milestones in the scheme by the late Pope John Paul II to fast-track her to sainthood, and now the even more annoying St Teresa of Calcutta, is destined to become one of the most popular saints in the Catholic Church. It has emerged that she had to be exorcised of demons on her deathbed. She certainly needed it! And the Vatican ghoulishly used the suffering of Monica Besra to pretend that Mother who was dead cured her miraculously. That cure was one of the grounds on which Mother was made a saint.

Writers Professor Serge Larivie and Genevieve Chenard in the journal, Studies in Religion/Sciences, have made it clear that Mother Teresa deserves severe criticism for "her rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception, and divorce."

For example, the 517 missions she had set up for the poor and the sick in many countries were really just places for the dying to be dumped in. Doctors who checked out her activities in Calcutta have established this. The places were found to be needlessly dirty, the inmates were inadequately fed and looked after. Worse, they had NO PAINKILLERS!

Mother let people think that money was scarce but that was not the case at all.


Incidentally, Susan Shields was once a nun in Mother's order under the name of Sister Virgin.  Of the donations that Mother's order received, "The money was not misused, but the largest part of it wasn't used at all. When there was a famine in Ethiopia, many cheques arrived marked 'for the hungry in Ethiopia'. Once I asked the sister who was in charge of accounts if I should add up all those very many cheques and send the total to Ethiopia. The sister answered, 'No, we don't send money to Africa.' But I continued to make receipts to the donors, 'For Ethiopia'."

The writers noted that Mother never gave money to help the victims of natural disasters in India. But she said prayers for them. And she wasted the money on sending them medals of the Virgin Mary. Millions of dollars were put by Mother into many secret accounts.

Thanks also to the work of Christopher Hitchens it is possible to see the truth about Mother Teresa who nobody dares criticise.


During Mother's 1990 visit to Albania she kindly laid a wreath for monster dictator Enver Hoxha in which she carefully avoided mentioning the violations of human rights under the remarkably oppressive Stalinism of the country.  If Stalinism is an example of evil


Mother aided the evil Duvalier family of Haiti and buttered them up telling them in a speech they loved the poor and the poor loved them. She got a million dollars from Charles Keating and kept it ignoring requests to her to return it after she knew he had stolen the money. She provided a character reference for him in court.  She has opposed the human right to divorce, contraception and abortion and the rights of secular people. She thought she knew it all. It was okay for her to campaign against these things for she never needed them. She was an epitome of the reprehensible selfishness that exists in the worst fundamentalist Christians. She even said that poverty was a gift from God. She accepted the vicious idea that the purpose of suffering is for the betterment of character. The atheist refuses to condone suffering this way and so the atheist should have a greater hatred of the suffering in the world than the religionist. She refused to use anything in her clinics to relieve pain for she accepted the Catholic doctrine that suffering is a good thing. She checked into the best hospitals in the world when she was sick herself and anything was good enough for the poor she used to create her grand and glorious image.

Mother stated that dogs were fed on human foetuses. No evidence for this claim has ever been uncovered. She approved of a film about her, Mother Teresa and her world, which claimed that there were a quarter of a million lepers in Calcutta while another film she collaborated in said it was 40,000. She has exaggerated the number of lepers and has helped them in preference to the even more serious plague of malaria.

She lied as well that she knew no poor woman in Calcutta who had had an abortion though Calcuttans regarded abortion as no big deal and all classes used it.

Mother had 50 million dollars in the New York bank alone and yet the order greedily solicited for money. This was the order that used the same syringe on many sick patients under the pretext of hard times. The money shouldn’t have been lying in accounts. Every penny should have been used.

Mother Teresa spoke against Vatican II making any doctrinal or practical changes in the Roman Catholic Church in the sixties. She supported the old horrific triumphalist and sectarian Church system that existed before Vatican II. She did not want the Church to become more human. She has frequently presented Calcutta as being a worse city than it really was to pull in the donations.

Please look up the sites by Christopher Hitchens and Aroup Chatterjee on the Internet and do a search in Google. Free Inquiry Winter 97-98 Volume 18 and Issue 1 ran an article by a former member of the Order Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity. She left the Order and exposed the evil and predominant side of Mother Teresa in the article. The article can be found on page 31. She testified that |Mother believed that obedience to the Order and to the Church is God’s will and that it is good to choose to suffer for it makes God give more graces out to the Church. Attachment to people and friendship was forbidden. This is so that Christ’s command that God alone be loved and other things loved for his sake meaning not for themselves but for him and not for yourself but for him may be observed. The effect of all this was the nuns telling lies and refusing to commit the sin of thinking independently. Mother Teresa caused a lot of destruction among the nuns. Mother Teresa amassed huge donations for the order and made no effort to make sure that the nuns used clean needles when they injected. She wouldn’t supply them. The Order she ran is so much like an extreme religious cult.

The Lancet, a respected medical journal, gave a negative appraisal of Mother Teresa's methods of looking after people. She refused to listen. She had the money to improve the substandard care.
Two thirds of the patients who went to Mother Teresa's facilities were looking for a doctor and there was none available for them. Patients then died because they only had custodial care.

SF Weekly make it clear that Mother Teresa knew that her priest friend, Donald McGuire, abused a Bay Area boy in 1993. The Church, for a change, dismissed him from his ministry. She didn't care and made efforts to have him put back into active ministry. She stated this must be done as soon as humanly possible. In a letter she referred to the abuses as sad events and that he was guilty of imprudence. In other words, he made a mistake. She was close to excusing his behaviour. She got her wish for his reinstatement and the McGuire attacked more boys. He ended up arrested in 2005.
She wrote, "I understand how grave is the scandal touching the priesthood in the U.S.A. and how careful we must be to guard the purity and reputation of that priesthood". She lied that she considered his crime grave but she stated that the reputation of the Church took priority.
Again she implied the crime was not serious and made no difference to her, "I must say, however, that I have confidence and trust in Fr. McGuire and wish to see his vital ministry resume as soon as possible." There was no empathy for the victim.
The letter was used as evidence in litigation against McGuire's order, the Jesuits.
Teresa was a metaphysical terrorist. She loved a God who sends women to hell for all eternity if they have an abortion of their own free will and never repent. Mother then thinks that is right so if she were God for a day that is what she would be doing to those women. The fact is that accusing women who have abortions of murder is extreme hate speech and must be legally stopped.
According to Hope Endures by a former nun from Mother Teresa's order, The Missionaries of Charity, Collete Livermore, the order though it had sufficient money donated to it for the purpose of buying books to help with the medical work this was not done (page 115). As a result, the health of the sisters was at risk. The book explains how the nuns were not provided with medical advice, the use of mosquito repellents, information about malaria and vaccinations (page 115). It attributes this to the idea that God would look after the nuns.
The book recounts how Colette, then called Sister Tobit, got into trouble with the order for helping a man with dysentery who was in danger of dying (page 163). The order cared more about obedience than doing the right thing. Mother Teresa declared according to page 168, that she recognised 1 Peter 2:18-23 as being correct. This text ordered slaves to obey their masters even if they were abusive and difficult. It said that it is great to be beaten for doing wrong when one is innocent and that such patience pleases God. Peter also says that this has to be the right attitude for Jesus gave us an example to follow. Mother Teresa used this text to urge her nuns to obey superiors without question (page 168). Sister Tobit decided to leave the order. She didn't like the way she was expected to let the poor suffer rather than disobey orders and she made that clear to Mother Teresa (page 172). Mother Teresa was "not sympathetic" and told Tobit that her feelings were sourced in temptation and pride (page 172). In other words, Tobit was bad for seeing sense. Mother was judging her despite forbidding Tobit to judge those who acted as dictators in the order over her (page 224).
Later Colette recounted the tale of what happened in Manila when she tried to help a sick boy called Alex. Sister Valerie who was in charge of her forbade her to help him though Colette told her there was no reason why they couldn't.
Mother Teresa wouldn't let the nuns have a washing machine (page 194). This forced the nuns to wash the underwear of the incontinent with brushes. The order was more concerned about inflicting hardship on the nuns than on helping the sick. A washing machine would have freed up their time to help people. Mother was definitely misusing the funds so kindly donated to her from all over the world. It was the struggle to help not the helping that mattered in her Christian philosophy.

Sister Tobit applied for a dispensation from her vows (page 224) because she was expected to do things like sending dying children away when commanded to do so and because she was not allowed to have a mind of her own. She wrote that she felt that "the order whose raison detre was to show compassion, chronically failed to do so, both to its own members and to the poor." "The Society demanded that I have no mind of my own and censored everything I read, a form of brainwashing that almost turned me into an automaton". These quotes can be read on page 224. On page 213 we read that Mother Teresa held that if an event happened, it was either willed by God or allowed by him to happen. We read that it led her to conclude that what the religious superior commands is either willed by God or at least allowed by him to be made meaning the commands no matter how silly or harsh they are are from God's authority. To disobey them is to disobey God.
When Tobit came Colette again she began to suspect that the gospel commands given by Christ to give to all who ask and thought that attempts to love unconditionally and forgive unconditionally really made one a doormat (page 287).
 he book proves that Mother Teresa cannot be called a good woman. It proves that living the gospels properly is bad for you. The Missionaries of Charity experienced the damaging power of the gospels and yet they lived their lives as an example to those who they helped and those who knew them - ultimately to see them take on the same torments. Some charity!

Just to add something to the Mother Teresa debate. The worst thing she ever did was to hoard up millions while her nuns were forced to use the same syringe over and over again on the patients. I have googled and there is no refutation of that at all. We need hard evidence to refute such a terrible deed. The excuse that Teresa and her nuns were doing all they could do under the circumstances is just an excuse. There is no excuse for spreading disease that way. The believers are blinded by faith. Real faith in God should be based on reality and determination to get rid of bias. Any faith that does not care enough about truth is an idol. As Bonhoeffer said we need to be careful that our religious faith in God does not become an idol. The fundamental problem with idolatry is that it cuts you off the real God if there is one. When a saintly person shows terrible serious flaws you can be sure the God they are a saint for is the one they have created in their heads. Jesus made that very point about the Pharisees.

It is startling how people on the internet are dismissing Colette Livermore a good woman without reading her book which exposed Teresa. That is bias pure and simple. As for calling her disgruntled and dishonest that is a biased judgement. Did they walk in her shoes? As for Christopher Hitchens, though he was correct, he should have been a little more methodical in his refutation of Mother Teresa's humanitarianism. But the argument does not depend on Hitchens - there are many testimonies and investigations that support his thesis and those are carried out by people more qualified than those armchair religionists who despise the findings and want them forgotten.

The case against Teresa being truly good is conclusive. This wily Pope who has made her a saint can ignore facts if he wants but he cannot make them wrong. And I would ask people what is the best risk to take: "What comes first? Upholding Mothers good name or risking condoning the spiritual and physical suffering she enabled and caused and did? Do the poor matter as much to me as her?!"

An interview with Christopher Hitchens on Mother Teresa: http://www.SecularHumanism.org/library/fi/hitchens_16_4.html

Defending Mother Teresa: http://www.thehappyheretic.com/3-98.htm

Mother Teresa's House Of Illusions: http://www.SecularHumanism.org/library/fi/shields_18_1.html

The Illusory Vs. The Real Mother Teresa: http://www.ffrf.org/fttoday/august96/hakeem.html

The Mother of All Myths: http://website.lineone.net/~bajuu/  


The following two sites show just what a liar Mother Teresa was and her callous heart is laid bare. They show the deceit of Pope John Paul II who was eager to make a saint of her.



This fascinating book reveals shockers such as that the pope has beatified Archbishop Stepinac of Zagreb who stood idly by as Jews and Communists were hounded to their deaths and the notorious fascist Cardinal Schuster of Milan.

Hope Endures, Colette Livermore, William Heinemann, North Sydney, Australia, 2008

Mother Teresa Bad Role Model: http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/eamonn-mccann-mother-teresa-not-such-a-good-role-model-1.2476467?utm_source=Secular Sunday&utm_campaign=fd2cea3ebf-198_copy_01_10_16_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_09cfdc0dd4-fd2cea3ebf-79937429

Eamonn McCann: Mother Teresa not such a good role model
Canonisation an exercise in propaganda – which is, of course, the salutary point
Thu, Dec 24, 2015, 01:00

It’s not the fact that Mother Teresa has been credited with cures for which there is no known disease that renders the plan for her canonisation ridiculous. The ridiculousness lies in canonisation itself.

Not even the pope is authorised to hand out ceremonial passes to paradise. To qualify for canonisation, you have to have made the cut and be resident in heaven already. If you’re not in, you can’t win. All of which renders the elaborate ceremony planned for next year redundant – apart from its propaganda value, which is, of course, the point.

Propaganda has always been the name of the canonisation game. The main reason medieval popes came up with the idea was so the church could take control of the selection of role-models for society at large. It’s about shaping the world the way you want it to be, about power and influence, not holiness and prayer.

What model of society does the Albanian nun exemplify? Twenty years ago, in January 1996, writing for Hot Press, I phoned the Los Angeles district attorney’s office to check whether there had been progress in persuading Mother Teresa to hand back a million dollars stolen from the poor. Not a lot, assistant district attorney Paul Turley told me.
Front for fraud

The money had been filched from the pockets of pensioners and small savers by the notorious conman, Charles Keating, head of what turned out to be a front for fraud, Lincoln Savings and Loan.

Keating had siphoned $225 million from the accounts of thousands of victims, and had bunged a million of this loot to Mother Teresa. (The closest Irish equivalents of US savings and loan associations are credit unions.)

Four years earlier, in 1992, Turley had appealed to Teresa: “If you contact me, I will put you in direct contact with the rightful owners of the property now in your possession.” Any developments since, I wondered?

“She has ignored us,” Turley told me. “We have honestly given up on this. It is obvious she is determined to keep it.”

Sentenced to 10 years, Keating may have taken comfort from contemplation of the crucifix on the wall of his cell personally blessed by Pope John Paul and delivered by a messenger from Mother Teresa.

It has commonly been suggested, including in recent days by commentators sceptical about Mother Teresa’s sanctity, that in this and similar matters she had been blinded by intense religiosity, her mode of thought too other-worldly to appreciate mundane stuff like money.

As an excuse for the criminal offence of knowingly receiving stolen property, this would be laughed out of any court in the land. Thomas “Slab” Murphy had a better defence.

A more subtle argument advanced by Catholic traditionalists is that what matters most at a time of ideological turmoil and creeping secularisation within the church is the unwavering adherence and global witness she gave to the teachings of the church now most under siege, on contraception, divorce, abortion etc. It is this, they suggest, which, despite all, makes her a suitable role model for the times we live in.

But this won’t wash either. The journalist Daphne Barak quoted Mother Teresa in April 1996 in Ladies’ Home Journal, commenting on the break-up of the marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. “I think it is such a sad story. Diana is such a sad soul . . . You know what? It is good that it is over. Nobody was happy. I know I should preach for family love and unity, but in their case . . . ” Then her voice “trailed off.”

The masses are told under pain of hellfire that they must unquestioningly obey the rules of the church, but when it comes to the useful rich and glamorous, immutable laws of God can be amended on the instant.

In October 1994, Mother Teresa sent a message to the UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, pleading for outright rejection of contraception and abortion. “Every child is a gift from God. If you have a child you think is unwanted, give that child to me. I will find it a loving home where it will be cherished as a blessing.”

Dishonest opportunism

The Cairo conference was to hear that up to 40,000 children under 12 were dying every day of malnutrition or preventable disease. Mother Teresa’s order was not running any adoption operation anywhere in the world. Her statement was not off-the-cuff or a flight of holy fantasy. It was a written declaration, widely distributed. It was dishonest, manipulative opportunism for which it is hard to find adequate words. “Despicable,” maybe.

In the year before her death in 1997, as a team of doctors flown in from around the world tried by extraordinary means to bring her back to health, one Irish newspaper carried the headline, “World Unites in Prayer For ‘Living Saint’”.

We may hope there’ll be a lot less of that sort of thing in 2016.



Tainted Saint: Mother Teresa Defended Pedophile Priest

Peter Jamison
Wednesday, Jan 11 2012 sfweekly

The death of journalist and polemicist Christopher Hitchens last month gave those familiar with his work a chance to revisit one of his more controversial subjects: the Albanian nun Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, better known to the world as Mother Teresa. In his 1997 book, The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, Hitchens argued that the "Saint of Calcutta," who founded and headed the international Missionaries of Charity order, enjoyed undeserved esteem.

Despite her humanitarian reputation and 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, Mother Teresa had set up a worldwide system of "homes for the dying" that routinely failed to provide adequate care to patients, Hitchens argued — an appraisal shared by The Lancet, a respected medical journal. Mother Teresa also associated with, and took large sums of money from, disreputable figures such as American savings-and-loan swindler Charles Keating and the dictatorial Duvalier family of Haiti.

Notwithstanding these black marks on an otherwise sterling reputation, Mother Teresa — who died in 1997 and is now on the fast track to a formal proclamation of sainthood by the Vatican — was never known to have been touched by the scandal that would rock the Roman Catholic Church in the decade after her death: the systematic protection of child-molesting priests by church officials.

Yet documents obtained by SF Weekly suggest that Mother Teresa knew one of her favorite priests was removed from ministry for sexually abusing a Bay Area boy in 1993, and that she nevertheless urged his bosses to return him to work as soon as possible. The priest resumed active ministry, as well as his predatory habits. Eight additional complaints were lodged against him in the coming years by various families, leading to his eventual arrest on sex-abuse charges in 2005.

The priest was Donald McGuire, a former Jesuit who has been convicted of molesting boys in federal and state courts and is serving a 25-year federal prison sentence. McGuire, now 81 years old, taught at the University of San Francisco in the late 1970s, and held frequent spiritual retreats for families in San Francisco and Walnut Creek throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He also ministered extensively to the Missionaries of Charity during that time.

In a 1994 letter to McGuire's Jesuit superior in Chicago, it appears that Mother Teresa acknowledged she had learned of the "sad events which took [McGuire] from his priestly ministry these past seven months," and that McGuire "admitted imprudence in his behavior," but she wished to see him put back on the job. The letter was written after McGuire had been sent to a psychiatric hospital following an abuse complaint to the Jesuits by a family in Walnut Creek.

"I understand how grave is the scandal touching the priesthood in the U.S.A. and how careful we must be to guard the purity and reputation of that priesthood," the letter states. "I must say, however, that I have confidence and trust in Fr. McGuire and wish to see his vital ministry resume as soon as possible."

The one-page letter comes from thousands of pages of church records that have been shared with plaintiffs' attorneys in ongoing litigation against the Jesuits involving McGuire. (The documents were also shared with prosecutors who worked on his criminal cases.) It is printed on Missionaries of Charity letterhead but is unsigned, and thus cannot be verified absolutely as having been written by Mother Teresa. Officials in the Missionaries of Charity and the Jesuits did not respond to requests for comment on its provenance.

Yet statements throughout the letter point to Mother Teresa as the author. The writer speaks of "my communities throughout the world" and refers by name to Mother Teresa's four top deputies, calling them "my four assistants." Rev. Joseph Fessio, a Jesuit and former University of San Francisco professor who knew Mother Teresa, said the reference to her assistants is an "authentic" aspect of the letter.

The letter could have an impact on the near-complete process of canonizing Mother Teresa. In 2003 she was beatified by Pope John Paul II, the penultimate step to full sainthood.

"What we see here is the same thing we see over and over in regard to the [priest pedophilia] scandal — the complete lack of empathy for, or interest in, possible victims of these accused priests," said Anne Rice, the bestselling author of novels including Interview with the Vampire and a former Catholic who has been outspoken in her criticism of the church's handling of the sex-abuse scandal. "In this letter the concern is for the reputation of the priesthood. This is as disappointing as it is shocking."

Other documents that have emerged in the criminal and civil cases involving McGuire could affect the sainthood prospects of another deceased religious leader eyed by the Vatican for sainthood. Among the newly uncovered church records are letters by Rev. John Hardon, a Jesuit who also worked extensively with Mother Teresa and died in 2000. He collaborated with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a landmark summation of contemporary church doctrine. In 2005, the Vatican opened a formal inquiry into whether Hardon should be made a saint.

But statements by Hardon in his letters could complicate that process. The documents reveal McGuire admitted to Hardon that he was taking showers with the teenage boy from Walnut Creek whose complaint led to McGuire's psychiatric treatment. He also acknowledged soliciting body massages from the boy and letting him read pornography in the room they shared on trips together.

Despite these admissions, Hardon concluded that his fellow Jesuit's actions were "objectively defensible," albeit "highly imprudent," and told McGuire's bosses that he "should be prudently allowed to engage in priestly ministry."

The postulators, or Vatican-appointed researchers and advocates for sainthood, assigned to investigate Mother Teresa and Hardon did not respond to repeated requestsfor comment.

While it is unclear exactly what impact the new documents will have on the evaluation of both figures for sainthood, the evidence of involvement by two prominent and internationally respected Catholics in the McGuire sex-abuse scandal is likely to cause consternation among critics of the church's handling of predator priests. The situation is aggravated since McGuire went on to abuse more children after suggestions to return him to ministry were heeded.

"We're talking about extremely powerful people who could have gotten Father McGuire off the streets in 1994," said Patrick Wall, a lawyer and former Benedictine monk who performs investigations on behalf of abuse victims suing the Catholic Church. "I'm thinking of all those post-'94 kids who could have been saved."

It is unknown exactly when Hardon, McGuire, and Mother Teresa first crossed paths. But chances are good that the first time they all found themselves together in the same place was in San Francisco in 1981. It was the 800th anniversary of the birth of Saint Francis of Assisi, the city's namesake. Hardon invited Mother Teresa, who attended celebratory services at which she was introduced to McGuire, according to Fessio, who was present.

Fessio, who today heads the Ignatius Press, a Catholic publishing house in the Sunset District, said Mother Teresa was impressed by McGuire's reputation as an erudite, engaging preacher. She arranged to have him perform retreats — based on the Spiritual Exercises by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order — for her missionaries around the world. "She was always looking for priests to say mass for the different places in the world where she had missions," Fessio recalled.

In McGuire, she found a priest whose strict adherence to traditional Catholic practices matched her own views. Mother Teresa was an extreme conservative on questions of religious doctrine. She declared during her speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize that abortion was "the greatest destroyer of peace" in the modern world. McGuire was likewise stoutly orthodox in his public persona, requesting that women wear long skirts in his presence and often assailing other Jesuits for their relatively tolerant approaches to political and social issues.

Some insight into the reverence the Missionaries of Charity held for McGuire and his retreats and sermons can be gleaned from letters sent to Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge James Carlson, who oversaw the trial that resulted in McGuire's first conviction in 2006.

Sister Nirmala, Mother Teresa's successor as the superior general of the Missionaries of Charity, wrote, "He was one of the very few priests to whom ... Teresa of Calcutta entrusted the spiritual care of the Missionaries of Charity through retreats, seminars and spiritual guidance wherever possible."

Sister Mary Christa, another nun with the Missionaries of Charity, wrote, "Father's immense love for Jesus Christ radiated brilliantly through his every word and gesture, and his whole concern was to inspire the Sisters with a more intense desire for holiness. His wisdom, immense knowledge of Holy Scripture, and saintly manner of life made a profound impression on all of us."

But McGuire's holy veneer concealed signs of a dark side that were already evident to select church officials long before he met Mother Teresa.

Documents that have emerged in the criminal prosecution of McGuire and civil litigation against the Jesuits over his actions show that suspicions about the priest were brought to his higher-ups beginning soon after his ordination in 1961. During his first teaching assignment, at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., he molested at least two boys, whose cases led to his first criminal conviction decades later.

The Jesuits, who have formally apologized to McGuire's victims for failing to adequately control the priest, have nevertheless asserted in legal filings that they should not be held liable for the harm he did to children during his career. In a June 2011 motion in a lawsuit filed against the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus, the order's lawyers asserted that McGuire is "an evil and perverted man who used his substantial intellectual gifts and his dominating personality to disobey every tenet of his faith and his vows as a cleric."

(SF Weekly reported on the Jesuits' failure to protect children from McGuire in a previous cover story, "Let Him Prey" [5/25/11].)

One of the best-documented instances of abuse in McGuire's record is one in which neither the victim nor his family chose to pursue litigation against the church. Jesuit records show that in April 1993, a devout Catholic man in Walnut Creek came forward with the complaint that his 16-year-old son, who traveled with McGuire as his personal assistant, had looked at pornographic magazines, showered, and masturbated with the priest.

Following this complaint, McGuire was removed from active ministry and sent to Saint John Vianney Center, a psychiatric-treatment facility for clerics in Pennsylvania. It was there that Hardon — whom the victim's family had requested investigate their allegations — interviewed McGuire and chose to exonerate him. After six hours of face-to-face talks at the hospital, Hardon wrote to McGuire in a January 1994 letter, "I firmly expressed my belief in your innocence of any sexual misbehavior."

McGuire returned to his order at the beginning of 1994, but his future, including the extent to which he would be allowed to interact with families and children as a priest, was still unclear. Hardon's letter to McGuire reveals that the errant Jesuit still worried that the sex-abuse allegations lodged against him would mar his prospects for continued work with Mother Teresa, work that considerably enhanced McGuire's prestige among other Catholics to whom he ministered.

"You expressed your deep fear that despite your proven innocence of all charges, somehow you would nevertheless not be allowed to continue your retreat ministry to Mother Teresa's sisters," Hardon wrote. At the conclusion of his letter, Hardon indicated that the matter would soon be resolved in direct consultation with the "Saint of Calcutta" herself.

"And so, Don, this is the state of the question on this eve of my departure for Calcutta, India, where, with your permission, I will be communicating with Mother Teresa about your situation and your future," he wrote.

A letter written less than a month later, on Feb. 2, 1994, appears to contain an answer to the questions about his future with the Missionaries of Charity that dogged McGuire after his release from treatment at Saint John Vianney. It is addressed to Brad Schaeffer, Provincial, or head, of the Chicago section of the Jesuits. (While McGuire's ministry took him across the U.S. and into foreign countries, he was officially under the supervision of the Jesuits' Chicago Province.)

The letter is not signed, though it begins with a handwritten salutation in Mother Teresa's characteristic looping script. It is unclear whether additional pages are missing from the document, or whether the writer simply failed to attach a signature. Clues throughout the letter, however, indicate that Mother Teresa is the author. The writer refers to "my communities throughout the world" and praises McGuire's preaching to "my novices in our new novitiate in San Francisco" in 1982. (Novices are aspiring nuns who have not yet taken vows.)

More significantly, the writer refers to "my four assistants, Sisters Mary Frederick, Priscilla, Monica and Joseph Michael." In 1994, the councilors general of the Missionaries of Charity — a group of four senior nuns who directly advised Mother Teresa, and were subordinate to no one else in the order — were Sisters Frederick, Priscilla, Monica, and Joseph Michael (Upon taking vows, nuns sometimes assume the names of male religious figures).

"That's authentic, mentioning those people," Fessio said. "Those were herfour councilors."

(View the original letter, and other documents mentioned in this story in the "details" box.)

Nuns at the primary U.S. office of the Missionaries of Charity, in New York City, referred all questions related to McGuire to the Mother Teresa Center in San Ysidro, Calif. Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator for the sainthood cause of Mother Teresa and director of the center, did not respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Schaeffer, the letter's recipient, is now the rector of a Jesuit community in Brighton, Mass., and serves on the board of trustees of Boston College. He did not respond to phone messages. The Chicago Province of the Jesuits also did not respond to requests for comment.

If Mother Teresa did write the letter to Schaeffer, it is unclear how much she learned about the circumstances under which McGuire was disciplined. The letter states, "During his recent visit to Calcutta in the past month, Fr. John Hardon, S.J., brought a letter to me from Fr. McGuire, describing the sad events which took him from his priestly ministry these past seven months. Fr. Hardon explained ... how he had established Father's innocence of the allegations against him. Father Hardon said that Fr. McGuire admitted imprudence in his behavior."

SF Weekly could not obtain the letter written by McGuire that is mentioned, or find anyone who had seen it. Following the exhortation that McGuire be returned to active ministry, the Missionaries of Charity letter concludes, "We, in the Missionaries of Charity, will do all in our power, to protect him and the Priesthood of Jesus Christ which he bears, when he once more takes up his mission with us."

Tariq Ali, the British intellectual who produced and co-wrote with Hitchens the sharply critical 1994 documentary film on Mother Teresa, Hell's Angel, said the letter fit with what he described as the nun's pattern of consorting with dubious personalities.

Among the problems chronicled in Hell's Angel were substandard care for the poor who filled her hospitals, and her willingness to accept money from notorious figures such as Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier of Haiti, who presided over a brutally repressive regime under which most Haitians lived in abject poverty. Duvalier's own lifestyle was luxurious, thanks to revenue from his participation in the drug trade and practice of selling dead Haitian citizens' cadavers overseas. Mother Teresa once posed for a photograph holding hands with Duvalier's wife, Michèle.

"When Christopher Hitchens and I made the film on her, the research was impeccable," Ali said. "She was close to dictators. She took money wherever she could. The care in her hospitals was poor. It was just one nightmare after another. From that time on, I saw her as a total fake," Ali said. The letter, he added, "would only be surprising if one saw her as a moral person, and I don't."

Anne Sebba, a biographer of Mother Teresa, said the founder of the Missionaries of Charity had never before been tainted by knowing involvement with a pedophile priest. However, she said the nun's response to criticism of her coziness with figures such as the Duvaliers and savings-and-loan scamster Charles Keating — for whom she pleaded for leniency during his trial and eventual conviction on fraud charges — was that she was practicing forgiveness in line with Christian ideals.

"Her answer was always that any miserable sinner deserved to be given a chance to do good," Sebba said. "She argued that Jesus always offered redemption, and no sinner was beyond redemption."

In McGuire, Mother Teresa encountered a challenge to that belief. After his return to ministry in 1994, McGuire would see eight new abuse allegations lodged against him by boys' families. In 2006, he was found guilty of molesting two boys decades earlier at the Loyola Academy. In 2008, he was convicted in federal court of taking a boy across state lines for the purpose of sexually abusing him. According to federal prosecutors, McGuire probed the boy's anus with his fingers during "massages," examined his penis with a magnifying glass, and looked at pornography with him.

McGuire has maintained his innocence of the charges against him, asserting that his victims fabricated stories to secure financial settlements from the Jesuits. His Chicago-based lawyer, Stephen Komie, said that McGuire's appeals of his state and federal convictions were unsuccessful, however. "He's going to die in prison, absent a pardon, and I don't think that's in the cards," Komie said.

The father of the Walnut Creek boy whose abuse allegation prompted McGuire's psychiatric treatment in 1993 said the information in the new documents is unfortunate, but not shocking. "That McGuire fooled Father Hardon and Mother Teresa like he did so many others is disappointing, but not a surprise," he said. "It shows that a person doesn't have to be a mind-reader in order to be a saint."

A second Walnut Creek man who says McGuire abused him as a child, and who is participating in a lawsuit against the Jesuits, reacted to the letter that might be from Mother Teresa more strongly.

"I was totally blown away by it," said the man, who is identified in court records only as John Doe 129 and whom SF Weekly is not identifying by name because he is an alleged victim of childhood sexual abuse. "I just don't know how somebody supposedly so saintly, supposedly such a protector of the weak and the poor, could be so indifferent to it," he said.

Hardon's letter to McGuire, as well as the letter that appears to have been written by Mother Teresa, indicate it was Hardon who personally carried news of McGuire's situation to Calcutta. It is thus important to understand how much Hardon knew when he visited Mother Teresa in January 1994. On this front, newly uncovered documents show the Jesuit in an unflattering light, and may have a serious impact on his prospects for sainthood.

In addition to his January 1994 letter to McGuire, Hardon wrote a detailed explication of his knowledge of and involvement in McGuire's case to Schaeffer, the Jesuits' Chicago provincial, in November 1993. The father of the alleged abuse victim from Walnut Creek had requested that Hardon personally intercede to assess exactly what McGuire had done to the teenage boy. At the time, Hardon was an internationally known and beloved priest who had staked his reputation on championing a conservative strain of Catholicism, not dissimilar to McGuire's, that was often at odds with the beliefs of his more liberal-minded fellow Jesuits.

During a visit to Saint John Vianney, Hardon had a frank conversation with McGuire in which the latter admitted to taking showers with his alleged victim, asking the boy to massage his body, and allowing him to possess pornography in the room they shared while traveling. McGuire denied additional allegations that he had touched the boy's genitals and watched him masturbate.

Hardon was apparently satisfied with what he heard. As he wrote to Schaeffer, "Regarding showering, Fr. Don said that it was true, but the picture is not one of a lingering sensual experience. It was rather the picture of two firemen, responding to an emergency, one of whom was seriously handicapped and in need of support and care from the other."

On the body rubs: "Regarding the massages, Fr. Don said they were done with attention to modesty and were necessary to relieve spasm at the 4th-5th lumbar disc and the right leg, involving the sciatic nerve." (The fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae are at the bottom of the spine, just above the buttocks.)

And the dirty magazines: "Regarding pornography Fr. Don said that there were Playboy and Penthouse magazines, which he neither got nor threw away."

Hardon concluded in the letter, "I do not believe there was any conscious and deliberate sexual perversity." He added, "I do believe Fr. McGuire was acting on principles which, though objectively defensible, were highly imprudent." He also concluded that another serious charge against McGuire, that the priest had violated the seal of confession by disclosing private information about the boy during an argument with his father, was unfounded.

The 1993 victim's family did not respond to requests for comment regarding the revelations in the letters. Other observers, noting the blasé manner in which Hardon speaks of a priest showering with a teenage boy and his unconcern with a supposedly orthodox cleric's tolerance for porn, say the letter will cast a shadow on the late Jesuit's reputation.

"I will never look at John Hardon the same way again," said Wall, the former Benedictine monk.

Phil Lawler, editor of Catholic World News, said the letter could be a stumbling block for the sainthood cause of Hardon, who is still in the early stages of being investigated by Vatican deputies. The most rigorous review of a candidate's life typically comes prior to the first milestone in the process, called veneration. Following that are beatification and canonization.

Lawler described Hardon's statements about McGuire as "shocking."

"What will it do for his cause? It will slow it down," Lawler said.

Rev. Robert McDermott, a priest in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and postulator for Hardon's cause, initially agreed to review Hardon's letter about McGuire and comment on it. After receiving it, he did not respond to subsequent calls and e-mails from SF Weekly.

Lawler said the letter apparently written by Mother Teresa, by contrast, is unlikely to stop her from clearing the final hurdle of canonization.

"I think her reputation is safe," Lawler said. "It doesn't fluster me that she would try to help a friend, and didn't know what was going on. Her reputation is so safe that, even if this is a negative, it doesn't much weighon it."

The extent to which the new documents will influence the canonization of either Hardon or Mother Teresa should, ideally, only be assessed after a thorough investigation of what both figures knew about McGuire, and how much influence their advocacy on his behalf had in the disastrous decision to return him to ministry in 1994. But in light of the church's past lack of diligence in dealing with priestly abuse, that might be a lot to hope for.

Mother Teresa is perhaps the most famous and popular Catholic religious leader of the second half of the 20th century, rivaled only by the late Pope John Paul II. Hardon's cause is likewise dear to senior officials in the Vatican. The investigation into his potential sainthood was initiated by Raymond Burke, the cardinal and former archbishop of St. Louis who is now prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura — a position that could be described as the chief justice of the Catholic Church's supreme court.

Lawler pointed out that dozens of American bishops who protected known child molesters in the clergy remain on the job today. Will similar efforts to shield a predator by figures of possibly saintly stature haveany fallout?

"You asked me whether this matter could affect the progress of Father Hardon's cause [for canonization], and I said that it definitely would. It might have been more accurate if I had said it definitely should," Lawler said. "I hope that people would recognize this as a serious issue that demands attention. But this is an issue on which the record of the American Catholic hierarchy is still not good."


Nun spurns Mother Teresa's rule to become an author
from: The Courier-Mail

By Mike O'Connor

December 16, 2008

SHE looks nothing like the nuns who taught me at St Joachim's, those good sisters who would all but fall to their knees at the approach of a priest.
Colette Livermore, however, spent 11 years within the physical and mental cloisters of religious life and discovered therein the shadows and demons which still torment her.

A gifted student who won a university scholarship to study medicine, she chose instead to follow Mother Teresa and joined the Sisters of Charity.

She now lives in coastal New South Wales and is in town for the day. We meet in the brasserie at the Stamford Hotel and she relates why she became a nun.

"When I was a kid, the Biafran famine was in the news. Kids were dying on the television set in front of you. I thought to myself that this couldn't be right and then I saw a Mother Teresa film and thought: 'That's the way to go! Get out there and do something!' I was very naive. I didn't appreciate the implications," she says.

It was not long before she realised that there were two sides to the saintly persona of Mother Teresa which the media had spun.

"Any organisation that demands you stick to a rigid timetable and do exactly what you're told is on the road to inhumanity, and I think and that was the problem," she says.

"Mother Teresa asked you to give up your brain, your will, everything. She asked for total surrender of the person.

"I grew up in Mossvale on the southern highlands of New South Wales and when I joined the order I went to Melbourne to the novitiate straight from school. I was just 18. It was a big change in life.

"Once you're within that sort of organisation, it's hard to get your bearings. You're off balance because Mother Teresa is a saintly person and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and all that sort of thing so you think that if you disagree with things, there must be something wrong with you rather than the organisation.

"We did our training and then I was sent to the Gulf province of New Guinea without any warning or preparation and nearly died of cerebral malaria.

"I was there for a few years and then transferred to Manila and worked in a garbage dump looking after people with tuberculosis. I wasn't even trained to the level of a barefoot doctor."

From Manila, Livermore was sent to Calcutta and it was there she tried and failed to leave the order. "You're always told that you're sinful and proud and all that sort of thing. It played with my mind. I realised things weren't right but I couldn't get any external bearings.

"You're cut off. You can't listen to the radio or read the newspapers or talk to friends. You have very little contact with your family. Your mind is only hearing one opinion. There's only one voice speaking. It's difficult to leave when Mother Teresa is telling you that it's to do with the devil."

Livermore's disaffection with Mother Teresa peaked when she clashed with her superiors over a decision not to treat sick children on a holy day.

"A ruling was made that on this recollection day, this day of prayer, children were not to be admitted to the Home for the Children.

"This really sick child came in with stick arms, breathing really fast and dehydrated and I was told he couldn't stay. I had this internal conflict and eventually the child was admitted but only after I'd had a big fight.

"These sorts of things happened time and time again because there was this rigid obedience and timetable, so I wrote to Calcutta and said: 'This can't be right.'

Mother Teresa's reply was not the one Livermore had hoped for. "She said that just as Our Lady watched Jesus die, I should be able to accept the death of a child if obedience asked it of me.

"Then I said: 'That's against the gospel' and they said that even the devil could quote scripture."

Livermore's portrait of Mother Teresa is of a woman tortured by her own spirituality.

"It led her to some pretty dark places," she says. "She talked about her inner emptiness and misery. She said 'Empty yourself of all that's not God.' She just felt depleted and that's what happened to all of us too."

Livermore's mother, who had been opposed to her joining the order, knew nothing of this. "My family wasn't aware because you weren't supposed to tell anyone. It was a secret.

"Mum was disappointed I'd thrown away the chance to do medicine because our family struggled. My father had left us and she was struggling to support four kids and for her eldest to take off was hard."

Livermore eventually wrote to Mother Teresa telling her she could no longer cope.

"She said she thought it was the devil, the Father of Lies, trying to rob me of my vocation and get me off the track but I couldn't do it any more. It was screwing my head around. I was 30 and I'd been in there 11 years."

Livermore describes the order as a sect and has written a book, Hope Endures, chronicling her experiences.

Mother Teresa's mistake, says Livermore, was in thinking that obedience was more important than compassion.

"That's not something that's widely known and not part of what the media says about her. It was dictatorial. I should have got out sooner," she says, shaking her head.

When she finally left, she turned to the medical degree she had spurned when she joined the sisters and became a doctor, working in Timor, the Northern Territory, the Congo, Sudan and Darfur.

One casualty of her time with Mother Teresa was her religion.

" I ended up an agnostic," she says. "I just couldn't believe it any more but if, as when I was in Timor from 2000-2003, you can do something for the kids, then for some people at least, you can make a difference."

Livermore blames no one but herself for what happened.

"After all," she says, smiling, "no one handcuffed me. It was my own silly choice. My mother told me I was a drongo but once I was in there, I couldn't get free.

"That's part of the reason I wrote the book - to tell religious people not to give up that inner compass that they have. You can't live your life with all these excluding rules."

She says the problems within the order are exemplified by the nuns' practice of self-flagellation, whipping themselves to try to imitate Christ's suffering.

"Suffering comes your way and you have to put up with it but," she says, "but it's sort of warped to go looking for it."

Hope Endures by Colette Livermore, William Heinemann Australia, $34.95