Talk:Mother Teresa

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Warning: Very high flaming level

[edit] Controvery Section - Bias, Undue Weight and Questionable Merit

The Controversy section makes up 1/3 of this article, not including links et cetera. It is vastly out of proportion for this article. I certainly don't propose that it be deleated altogether, but it needs to be edited to a shorter more neutral abstract of its current state.

It is just this sort of thing which is one of the flaws of Wikipedia. Such a section would be inconceivable in a conventional encyclopedia. Mamalujo

Rather than complain about Wikipedia, be bold and make your edit. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 01:31, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Are you going to remove the quotes from the Pope, which is very biased and unscholarly? Do you have any scholarly sources on the quality of medical care given?--Prosfilaes 04:39, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

So what you do, is that you add more counterweight to the main body of the article, you don't remove sourced information just because you think that section should be smaller. That's POV. Joffeloff 15:00, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Are you really opposed to the truth? Are you people really afraid that Mother Teresa's critics might be right and that she was a complete fraud? GeorgeC 12:21, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

I'll be the fifth to say that's not POV. Mamalujo said "Mother Teresa is almost universally admired with good reason."; Wikipedia's job is not to poll people and reflect the polls, it is to inform. There should be as much info on wikipedia as possible, and if the controversy section happens to be bigger, that's fine. As far as I know nobody was deleting the stuff about how good she was. Anyone can go and make that section bigger. Since people haven't, (I guess?) it's not POV, it's just how it is.

And since the "score" here is 5-1 against it being POV, I'll delete the POV banner.--TheAlphaWolf 17:17, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

First you say that our job is not to poll people, and then you decide to remove a POV tag based on a poll of six people? Would it not be better to discuss the merit of the argument? ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 22:14, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I said it's not WIKIPEDIA's job to poll people, and it isn't. But wikipedia isn't one entity. It is made up of many people. Therefore we have to take polls on this. Do you disagree that we shouldn't reflect public opinion on wikipedia? or do you disagree that we shouldn't decide things around here by majority? Seeing how this discussion has been here for more than two months and there is only one person so far who thinks it's POV while 5 don't, I think removing the tag was a perfectly logical and fair decision. Readers get a bad impression when they come to an article that warns them that it may be biased, and we shouldn't let one person alone do that. Especially when there are 5 others who disagree with that person. --TheAlphaWolf 03:31, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Only one person, you say? Read the archives. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 03:49, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Of course I'm not reading through all of them, but I skimmed through and (correct me if I'm wrong) I found two people that think the criticism section is too long, and 7 who disagree. A 7-2 vote is still a pretty good reason to take the tag out.--TheAlphaWolf 19:35, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

How is "baptizing" a person of another religion a controversy if they are asked first, and say yes? I think that section should be removed, her quote contradicts the sentence before it. --andrew leahey 00:39, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

You say the people said "Yes", but I ask you, under what circumstances? They were on the point of dying and if then a soothing voice promises to remove their pain and ask them to baptize, what would they do? It was complete cheating! If you really want to convert people, try it when they are in their full sense. User:Kazimostak

More information requested: Would someone please include more information about her embezzlement and involvement with corrupt dictators as well as her stance on women's rights, divorce and abortion. Parts of this page make her look like she was an actual good person and deserved to be sainted. Certainly some reference should be made to the vast sums of money spent on her when her health began to decline, and declining free cataract sugery in favor of getting an expensive operation done in NYC rather than in Calcutta. There are some things about her character that are conspiciously missing, but seeing as how I am rather biased I dont feel comfortable adding material myself. 19:11, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

"Parts of this page make her look like she was an actual good person and deserved to be sainted": It's the usual problem, I'm afraid. 'Mother Teresa' happened to fit so exactly the archetypal picture of the 'humble, pious and compassionate person who loved humanity unconditionally' that countless people -- religious ones especially -- instantly convince themselves that she must actually have been someone like that. The fact that she was really an individual of Mediaeval ignorance and callousness who added vastly to the sum total of avoidable human misery simply doesn't get across to them. As a result, the article itself has the form of a lavish outpouring of hagiographic mythology and special pleading -- with a tacked-on and incongruous 'criticisms' section that keeps getting vandalistically altered and deleted by the 'outraged' faithful. HTH. Pf.

Some of you people are simply unbelievable. Are you so jaded that a woman who clearly practiced "The Golden Rule" was a positive inspiration to a world in desperate need of such people? Religious denomination aside, she was an example of humility and compassion. I question the character and motives of those who seek controversy for a person who loved humanity unconditionally.

This is simply outragious and absolutely irrational and inhuman for anybody to take side with so-called "Mother" Teresa! She was a complete fraudster and most inhuman of persons! Please don't jump to conclusions and start attacking me, please. Please, at first read Aroup Chatterjee's book "Mother Teresa: The Final Verdict" (Meteor Books, Kolkata, 2003), and then ask your conscience what it (your conscience) says about her, then come back here and tell me whatever you want to tell. For your kindest information, the book is based on hard facts, and loads of it! Please read the book and then come back here, not before reading the book! Please! First three chapters of the book can be read on : User:Kazimostak

Possible source of the perceived bias: Ive been reading the controversy section and have absolutely no problem with it or it's conclusions. The one thing I would change, if possible, is the last bit that states that "the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and they found no obstacle to Mother Teresa's canonization." Id be interested in any links as to their justification thereof: at the moment, it's conspicuously absent.

I don't think the controversy section is unfairly weighted, but I DO think that citing a religious bodies disagreement with something that has lots of supporting evidence in it's favor, and pointedly contrasts it with a conspicuous lack of citations, sources, or explorations of motive of the religious bodies reasoning, does create the tacit impression of a an exceedingly poor and unsubstantiated conclusion.

Anyone got any links or sources that could be added? 18:00, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

If it makes any difference, the article about Mother Teresa on Encylopedia Britannica, and on Encarta make no mention of the criticisms of Mother Teresa. Not a single word. The criticism here is down to 25%, but I still think having so many headings (seriously, a heading for two sentences?) gives it undue weight. I think it should be cut down to one paragraph - tops. Put the rest in different article. As the NPOV policy puts it:

To give undue weight to a significant-minority view, or to include a tiny-minority view, might be misleading as to the shape of the dispute. Wikipedia aims to present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties. ... None of this is to say that tiny-minority views cannot receive as much attention as we can give them on pages specifically devoted to them. ... If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it does not belong in Wikipedia (except perhaps in some ancillary article) regardless of whether it is true or not; and regardless of whether you can prove it or not.

I'm a little bit partial myself (although I think I'm mainstream, hehehe), otherwise, I'd make the change myself. 20:56, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

[edit] Citations missing

There are several request for citations to supports assertion made. I will remove these sentences in a few days, unless some references are found and it has been several weeks since these were requested. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 00:45, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

[edit] fairness and wikipedia

I'm just starting to gather information on this but it appears the wikipedia has a somewhat anti catholic or perhapse anti-christain slant to it. ie there seems to be some violations of netural point of view

In about 10 minutes research I have noticed this by looking for the existance of contraversy / critisim sections with in articls on persons. here is what I have observed so far.

persons have a (critisism / contraversy's section).
Jessus of Nazerath

JPII ( some other popes although sort of random)
Mother Theresa
karl marx

absent critisim / contraversy sections are:

Thomas more ( who wrote the work utopia the marks based part of his theory off of).
martin Luther king
William J. Simmons ( founder of the klu klux klan)

all of the dalhi lamma ( these articles are pretty stubby though)

all of the U.S. presidents ( including George Bush the current president and Bill Clinton.)

didn't have time to check them all but almost no one under the Muhammad (disambiguation) section ( many of these are almost stub articles though).

Seriously are these sections just random based on editor bias or how do they manage to get there?
it does seem the criticism sections multiply for more modern people? is this because there is less care about past controversy and the accusations made by ones contemporaries or less understanding of them?
is there a wikipedia bias article ... it might be interesting to have one?
--chistofishman 21:07, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:WikiProject_Countering_systemic_bias, and a proposed guideline Wikipedia:Criticism. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 22:55, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Good Observation. Also article on Sachin Tendulkar has more points on criticism than achievementsDoctor Bruno 14:16, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Pronunciation of Her Albanian Name

Can anybody indicate the pronunciation of her Albanian name, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu? -- 23:24, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

[edit] The Framing Problem

OK, I am just back from the shrine of the Blessed Virgin up on the lake, where I have been thinking about this. Here's what I think.

The criticism section strikes many people as POV, and part of that gets attributed to length. But I think there is also a question about framing; about the assumptions made by the critique. In two cases, both primarily tied to Hitchens, the criticism seems to imply that the motives and cosmology of Catholics are basically wrong and suspect. I am talking about (1) the complaint that the donors were duped because MT spent money on missionary work, as well as (and perhaps more than) on medical work, and (2) the complaint that dying people were duped by agreeing to a ritual ceremony.

In each case, we have a striking pattern. The supposedly obnoxious behavior is, at least on face value, voluntary. No one involved is raising a complaint, or--if they are--no such citation has been presented. Hitchens and his backers, including some folks on this thread, obviously believe that the worldview of Catholics and other Christians who support MT is very wrong-headed. That's great. But they appear to be arguing that, if your beliefs suck, the burden of proof is on you to provide defensive sources against any unsourced critique.

For example, several people have pointed out that the phrase "Many of Teresa's donors were evidently under the impression that their money was being used to build hospitals" needs to be cited. Just above in this discussion, an anonymous writer made a broader argument as to why such a claim might be wrong, and so should be cited. This was immediately shot down. It is hard to escape the implication that some of the contributors find Catholics guilty until proven innocent.

Me, I think we should cite the bejeezus out of everything. Ethan Mitchell 00:39, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Sticking with WP:V and WP:CITE, temoving unnecessary commentary and avoiding editorializing, is the way to achieve NPOV in these types of disputes. This applies to te criticism section as well as the rest of the article. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 04:38, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Chistofishman's edits of 9 May

I've reverted the whole set of edits. Perhaps there are salvagable parts, but on the whole it was poorly written and not NPOV. It's Teresa, not Theresa, for one. This article should consistently use Mother Teresa, as that's what she's known as, not Blessed Teresa. No encyclopedia article should ever refer to "the reader".--Prosfilaes 06:15, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Why didn't you correct the problems you found rather then revert the edit?

The whole point was to reorginize the section based on who is making which cliams. A task that is almost impossiple to establish by reading the current section. If you don't like the way I did it then rewrite it yourself based on the same criteri,because a MAJORE problem with the current arrangment is that each of the critics has vering degrees of credibility ( who is most credible should be left tot he reader to decide) So it is very relivant who is making which claims..


I made the edit with the specific intention of not removing a single sentence from the original. (check it they are all there accept one that did not fit well)

The section as it stood was NOT NPOV and in fact leans more towards a critical writing style rather then a nutral one and should be changed to a nutral writting style.

One easy way to do so is to make it clear who is saying what and point out obvious problems with there statements if there are any.

The NPOV of the section is also compromised by various statments not being grouped by who is making them. Some of the statments appear as facts when they are only unsubstatiated opinion.

I also added some further biographic text for susan shields who does not have her own page.

I don't want to get in an edit war over this so why don't YOU regroup the opinions in sucha a way as it is readily possible to tell who is saying what.

I make the claim that even with it's faults the section is now much more readable and much more NPOV

--chistofishman 13:34, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I removed the refrences to "the reader" and corrected the used the cosistant name Mother Teresa.

--chistofishman 13:47, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

First place, I don't think they should be organized by critic. Secondly, your version is not more NPOV; Mother Teresa has critics not because she's Christian, but because of who she is, and "anyone" may find it completely irrelevant that "Christians believe that anyone who follows Jesus will be persecuted as he was." I question whether donations are "generally not considered to be anyone else's business." If the Catholic Church believes such, then that's different. And it's still not written in good encyclopedic English.--Prosfilaes 15:59, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

The idea of the first sentence is to point out the need for a section on critisim that may be questioned by many readers. If you don't believe there is any need for such a comment feel free to remove it. --chistofishman 16:09, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

My revision is absolutely more NPOV because it makes it clear who is saying what. It also takes into account that the critics have their own critics.

Not being able to understand that what is in the controversy section are the claims that come from certain people make it nearly impossible to ascertain the credibility of the remarks being made. Making it very easy to confuse opinions with statments of fact.

I agree there needs to be some serious addition / revision in the section I added titled Responses to Criticisms it was first shot at something rough to get the ball rolling. I added after I realized there was a whole set of things under criticisms that were actually responses to critisms. I am debating deleting some of the other comments within criticism that I had added for balance and simply adding a reference to the second new section where appropriate.

--chistofishman 16:09, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Would you mind running a spell checker over your text before adding it? A big part of my problem is that I don't feel like trying to edit your changes to be proper English.
One problem I see with your recent changes is that they add links to the Vatican inline. Inline links should usually just be citations. If these links have anything important to add, then summarize it and add the link as a citation; otherwise, they should at most be added to the external links section.
Also, you changed "alleged miracle" to "miracle" at one point; the alleged helps make it NPOV. Your section on Susan Shields is loaded with weighted words and phrases: "traditionally used in the catholic[sic] Church for over 1000 years", "if redemptive suffering is really a worthwhile activity" (if my guess as to what redemptive suffering is is correct, I think neither Shields nor I would argue about whether it's worthwhile, but rather whether it exists and is a meaningful concept.) It also seems to miss the question of whether the group should be begging for what they have donations to buy.
Again, "should not be misconstrued as an attempt to hide anything as the attitudes and institutions involved pre-exist any societal idea of transparency." But the Vatican has changed before; why not on this topic? Perhaps because they don't like what people might think digging through their records?
Susan Shields was certainly an actual donor, of her life, more valuable then just money. Why don't she count as a complaintant? The new section is without a single cite, and should be merged into the criticisms section. And the last line uses "you", which is completely unencyclopedic. --Prosfilaes 20:42, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Blessed Mother Teresa

The identity section of the wikipedia recomends:

Where known, use terminology that subjects use for themselves (self-identification). This can mean using the term an individual uses for himself/herself, or using the term a group most widely uses for itself. This includes referring to transgender individuals according to the name and pronoun they use to identify themselves.

Mother Teresa as a catholic would now refer to herself as blessed Mother Teresa if she were still alive. This argues strongly for chaning here name throught the article to either Blessed Mother Teresa or Blessed Teresa.

I'm looking for futher opinions?

But it's not the name she used for herself, it's not the name that everyone knows her by, and it's connected specifically to the Catholic view of her.--Prosfilaes 01:55, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Furthermore, no Catholic can properly refer to themselves as "blessed" until they are dead. And it is POV, as well as bizarre, to speak of people referring to themselves after they are dead. By the same logic, we would have to continuously describe Abraham Lincoln as "the late ex-president Abraham Lincoln," since presumably that is how he refers to himself in his contemporary conversations with the blessed Mother Teresa? My head hurts. Ethan Mitchell 03:02, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

I think the convention is that when referring to some person or group it is simple respect and most NPOV to refer to that person with the title they themselves and others in their society would know them by. (regardless of there status as living or dead). Take for instance the title "Mother" Teresa. It is a formal designation of an office or position within a religious order. Teresa was not even the real name of the woman in question, but what she changed it to. ( I'm assume legally as well, what are the laws of India like with respect to changing ones name? ).

It is appropriate, respectful and NPOV to call her Mother Teresa because that is what she is known by within her group. NOW within her order, group, and church she is known as Blessed Teresa or Blessed Mother Teresa.

The change is no different then if she has moved form the office of bishop to cardinal or changed her name when elected pope.

Unless you want to try and make the argument that it is impossible to have a title bestowed on you post mortem. However that doesn’t hold very well because there are multiple examples of that happening ‘buddah’ being the first that comes to mind. ‘Christ’ being another.

However I do see the argument for maintaining the most recognizable name. if she was a lesser personality not as well known I don’t think it would hold up very well, but since she is known by “mother Teresa” almost universally it is the most likely term people will search on.

We should probably have some text explaining the decision to maintain the name Mother Teresa within the article.

I think we should add this sentence to the first paragraph after the sentence: “Hence, she may be properly called Blessed Teresa by Catholics.”

However, the name Mother Teresa has been maintained within this article because it is the title by which she is most recognized.

I'll do it.

--chistofishman 14:38, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

OK, that all makes sense to me. I think the article should certainly include any titles by which someone is known, just as it should include their full name, but the name generally used in the article itself to refer to the person should be one that is broadly used. Ethan Mitchell 18:39, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Wholesale deletion of poortly written material

Why not to attempt to salvage any new material from Chistofishman? Or better, why not to offer Chistofishman some help? Chistofishman: as e can see English is not your primary language and you have trouble editing, please post your suggested edits Talk:Mother Teresa/sandbox, so that your edit can be corrected for grammar, etc. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 20:49, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I am sorry about my poor spelling. I know it is my greatest weakness in this endeavor. My grammar however is usually quite good. As embarrassing as it now is I need to state for the record: I am a native English speaker.

I try to consistently use a grammar and spelling checker. Once again my deepest apologies for the misspellings I was lacking sleep yesterday as well, which probably contributed. I will try to make more consistent use of the sandbox in the future.

If there is a problem with my set of edits beyond spelling would someone please explain in what other ways they are poorly written or correct them or both. I will certainly correct any problems that I can. I will try to be more vigilant while checking for problems of that nature in the future.

--chistofishman 15:00, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Here is some feedback: The Analysis of criticism section needs to be attributed to a reputable source. As Wikipedia editors it is not our job to respond to criticism or to analize it. If there are sources that refer to such analysis, lets find these and describe them. Otherwise, the text you added in this section is mostly original research and will need to be removed. See WP:NOR. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 16:04, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
None of the problems I mentioned were fixed in the last changes. There is a box for edit comments that you aren't using, there's a checkbox for minor edits like spelling fixes that you aren't using when appropriate, and there's a button for previews that you apparently aren't using. The new changes are completely uncited.--Prosfilaes 18:34, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Prosfilaes, please Wikipedia:Don't_bite_the_newbies, otherwise we may be losing potential good material, effort and good will. Let's help Chistofishman rather than penalize him/her. Thank you for your consideration. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 18:55, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

I guess the problem I'm having is that the current section really needs to be restructured. I am pretty adamant about that because the current section is so poorly structured that I had to read it 5 times before I could sort out which statements were attributed to who and consequentially which statements were properly cited and which ones were not.

I have found it somewhat annoying that 5 times now the major piece of work I have spent hours on and which represents a considerable improvement over the original section has been yanked because completely yanked for small technical details rather then fixed. If the criteria is that nothing should be in the article unless it is technically perfect and well cited it is obvious about a third of the current section needs to be pulled. I would not have objected if Prosfilaes had gone in and removed everything I had not cited or marked it with [citation needed] because I would not have put it in the article if didn’t figure I could cite it. But the wholesale deletion is getting old fast.

If it is necessary for a piece of the article to be technically perfect and in line with wikipedia rules before being submitted I recommend deleting the controversy section until such time as it is restructured to make it obvious which statements are attributed to whom and where they are cited from.

The section that was yanked that was titled controversy was better cited then the section it was replaced with of the same title so it seems like it would have been better to deal with only the new section added that was less well cited. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by chistofishman (talkcontribs).

I have fixed the spelling and made some necessary edits and removals. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 15:58, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

cool thanks for your help. I'm continuing to do research. There are a lot of things in the article that could probably stand citations and I've been tracking them down. I corrected some of the text in quotations to match actual citations I found.

I also removed the statement "worked a short time with her order" from Dr. Aroup Chatterjee description because he explicitly states in his bio he never worked with her order and had never her of her before he left Calcutta. I added from Calcutta because it is a very relevant point of his reasons stated for his criticisms.

I’m thinking her spiritually fits within the monastic tradition of Franciscan spirituality ( as distinct for Benedictine) , but I’m looking for citations before I put that into spirituality section. I have seen several places where Mother Teresa talks about the prayer of St. Frances.

--chistofishman 15:10, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Recent edits

I find the recent edits to be, yet again, an effort of undue weight given to a rather small group of critics. I have attempted to remove this undue weight from the TOC, by using bolded text rather than subsections. I have also redordered the marterial so that thw two main critics have their voices in one place. As for the Pen and Teller show, I would argue that it is too much detail and not encyclopedic. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 21:54, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't agree. Mother T's numerous critics deserve to be cited separately. And how, pray tell (so to speak) can there be too much detail? Encyclopedic? I was simply giving a detailed synopsis of the show. Just calling her corrupt and citing a source or two is not enough; I was proving it beyond doubt. GeorgeC 06:05, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Too much detail? Of course it can be. See WP:NPOV and read the Undue weight section. Listing each critic and giving it a section of its own it is undue weight, in particular when some of these critic are only notable because of their criticism'. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 14:04, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
A criticism section for 2 critics which is longer than the sections with neutral data (like political view and history) is undue weight, and therefore not NPOV. I'm putting a POV tag. And isn't it recommended that instead of critism sections, the criticisms be distributed througout the article?--Nino Gonzales 02:22, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
GeorgeC, the usual solution is to create a new article. In this case, that would be an article on that episode of the show.--Nino Gonzales 02:27, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

[edit] "the Church Christ founded"

I have altered this phrase to "the Catholic Church" under heading "Spiritual Life" in the sentence "She believed in submission to God and Christ and the Catholic Church." This is to reflect a more neutral point-of-view, since the claim is contested.

Aaronimo 17:27, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Hospitals vs. Hospice

"Donors, he says, were told that the money went to aid and the construction of healthcare facilities in India and elsewhere. Evidence points to it instead being spent largely on missionary work and that Mother Teresa was actually the controller of some of the funds. No hospitals were ever built."

I think this passage is both POV and weasally ("Evidence points," but no citation). The implication is that MT promised hospitals, and no hospitals were built. But what the text actually says is that she promised "healthcare facilities," a phrase that includes hospices. And she set up hospices out her eyeballs. Ethan Mitchell 01:05, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Tuberculosis

With regard to the lines the facility did not isolate patients with tuberculosis I am not sure as to what the editor is trying to implyDoctor Bruno 15:03, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

TB is an infectious disease that is spread when bacteria are put into the air by the coughs and sneezes of a person with the disease active in their lungs or throat. TB patients should be isolated.
That was hundred years ago when we had something called as Sanatorium therapy and avulsed the phrenic nerve of the individual to immobilise the diaphragm and give rest to lungs as it was thought that rest heals the lungs. The present concept is domicillary therapy and active lungs. Hence I was not able to understand whether that point was a kudo or brickbat. Doctor Bruno 15:03, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
It was, and remains, a brickbat. From the current wikipedia article on TB:

"Transmission TB is spread by aerosol droplets expelled by people with active TB disease of the lungs when they cough, sneeze, speak, or spit. Each droplet is 5 µm in diameter and contains 1 to 3 bacilli. Close contacts (people with prolonged, frequent, or intense contact) are at highest risk of becoming infected (typically a 22% infection rate). A person with untreated, active tuberculosis can infect an estimated 20 other people per year. Others at risk include [...] immunocompromised patients (eg. HIV/AIDS), residents and employees of high-risk congregate settings, health care workers who serve high-risk clients, medically underserved, low-income populations, high-risk racial or ethnic minority populations, children exposed to adults in high-risk categories, and people who inject illicit drugs. [...] The chain of transmission can be stopped by isolating patients with active disease and starting effective anti-tuberculous therapy."


[edit] Albanian Roman Catholic of Romanian origin nun?

Does the intro really need to start out "Mother Teresa of Calcutta... was an Albanian Roman Catholic of Romanian origin nun"? That seems needlessly awkward. What does it even mean if she is an Albanian of Romanian origin? -- Renesis (talk) 02:22, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

It is obviously necessary a source to prove this statement. Desiphral-देसीफ्राल talk-फेन मा 07:03, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Weblinks

I suggest to remove the following weblinks: Vatican biography, Nopelpeaceprize biography and biography. They are essentially repeating what's already covered in the article, thus obviously there is no point to add them as weblinks. Gugganij 23:07, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Cultural depictions of Mother Teresa

I've started an approach that may apply to Wikipedia's Core Biography articles: creating a branching list page based on in popular culture information. I started that last year while I raised Joan of Arc to featured article when I created Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc, which has become a featured list. Recently I also created Cultural depictions of Alexander the Great out of material that had been deleted from the biography article. Since cultural references sometimes get deleted without discussion, I'd like to suggest this approach as a model for the editors here. Regards, Durova 18:37, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

[edit] the spirit of Diderot

I hadn’t followed the MT debate for six months. Now that I have read the current article and all the exchanges since my last post I see with horror that MT defenders got their own way; the article is Catholic rubbish and the only sane part of it has been POV tagged.

This is one of the articles that demonstrate beyond doubt the stupidity of the NPOV policy and why I wrote this to Jimbo:

I don't believe in Wikipedia or any paper encyclopedia. I believe in encyclopedias that debunk the lies and are written by society's dissidents. But after Diderot's POV Encyclopédie, which changed the worldview of Europeans for the better two centuries ago, nothing similar has happened in the West [...]. Unless the silly NPOV policy is questioned and the spirit of Diderot implemented, like other encyclopedias Wikipedia will be replete of groupthink ideologues, status quo defenders and double plus good quack speakers. —Cesar Tort, 25 June 2006

I will probably leave Wikipedia altogether in the future. A fellow wikipedian who already left wrote this in my talk page:

I was shocked to discover that an external article about Christian Abuse of Wikipedia is on the spam blacklist, so the only way I can direct you to it is to present the URL like this (remove the ***): www.double***

Take a look at that forbidden article in Wikiland: Christian Abuse of Wikipedia. Like the former wikipedian I’m also shocked it’s on wiki’s spam blacklist. Since status quo defenders are a majority, with the NPOV policy we will never achieve Diderot or John Stuart Mill’s ideal: Talk:Mother_Teresa/Archive9#John_Stuart_Mill.

This is my last post here. —Cesar Tort 03:27, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Accounts

Can someone find sources for the accusations that this woman's charity is the only one in India which refuses to file public accounts, that the money is held in The Vatican, and that is mostly spent on religious institituions such as Convents in which nuns are taught but no poor helped or sick treated. 20:24, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Divorce issue

"The question of precisely why she felt the marital unhappiness of less exalted people should not be eased in the same way was not raised." There is something I see few people in the media deal with, but that seems quite obvious to me. That being Mother Teresa was commenting on a marriage of an Anglican. A traditional Catholic like her would not see an Anglican marriage as indissovable the way she would a Catholic marriage. This may seem unfair too, but it is consistent with the mindset of a Catholic of her era. If Mother Teresa approved of a wealthy Catholic getting divorced, or opposed a poor Anglican getting divorced, this would be a double-standard based on wealth. However I haven't seen any stories of her doing that. Unfortunately I have no cite on this issue so I'll just state here rather than putting it in the article.--T. Anthony 10:14, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

[edit] quoteables?

i think i've read some rather inspiriring quotes on the net from "mother teresa", and they pop up all over the web..

probably my favorite is..

"People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, People may Accuse you of Selfish, Ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be Honest and Frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway."

[edit] Hitchens as Devil's Advocate

The article in question is here. I think he mentions it in the foreword of later editions of The Missionary Position as well, although I don't own a copy. --badlydrawnjeff talk 04:03, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. I replaced "devils advocate" wording by Hitchens, with the verifiable fact. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 05:58, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I have replaced the wording a little bit, however, just to provide context regarding the position being abolished. Nothing against your edit, but it just seemed rather matter-of-fact. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:27, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Sure, thanks. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 15:05, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Is there any source independent from Hitchens himself confirming that he was a witness during the beatification process? Darked 18:35, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

[edit] Vocations

Hey any one have anything 4 me 4 my Re project I have to do a discussion on "People with vocations are workers for the kingdom of god" —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 11:40, 4 December 2006 (UTC).

Holy shit, that's scary. 13:06, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
...? Homestarmy 04:16, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Reintroduced Controversy and critics section wth much reduced text.

I've reintroduced this with a link to an article by Christopher Hitchens on her beatification and used some of the previous text about Dr Fox's criticism. The page reads as a hagiography without it and there is enough dissent about her motives to justify referring to it.

NBeddoe 11:37, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Somebody's editied further and given a lot more negative content than my edits included (see below).

---The image of Mother Theresa as an umimpeachable individual is widely but not universally shared. Notable critics include Christoper Hitchens [1] and Germaine Greer who described Mother Theresa as the "The Glamour Girl of Poverty".---

While I'm no fan of MT I think the whole "Controversy and Critics" section is vastly overdone now and reeks of POV.

NBeddoe 22:52, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Saint Mother Teresa

I think that this article is too negative of Mother Teresa, do you think that this woman who devoted her entire life to helping people needs to have this article so negative. Haveing the section on critisism such as she was a cult leader is not even properly verifiable. People who edit this article probably know nothing about what she went through, mostly because people who edit this article have enough money to have internet and computer, plus they are not nuns in india. Shame on this website, I joined thinking this would be a good website, but now it is run by liberals who want to critize saints yet practicly support liberal issues by saying you can't say anything bad about abortion. Shame on you. UTCQuaker24 03:41, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

This is a sad article, I can believe that when I put that Mother Teresa did this out of mercy because the Catholic Church teaches that without baptistism they would go to hell, I am a Catholic and know the beliefs, someone carelessly deleted it and said no they don't shame on this whole website, it is horrible that you give yourselfs the right to condemn a godly woman when you yourselves are sinners. May God have mercy on you soul! This website is a bad information source. Quaker24 00:24, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

I am sad to see that Mr. Quaker24 has chosen to attack wikipedia instead of trying to (specifically) point out what's wrong in here! So, what should we do? WE MUST try our heart and soul to protect the MYTH created by the catrolic church, because it all looks and feels and sounds so beautiful, although I know that so-called MOTHER Teresa had done far far less than what she claimed, had indulged in wholesale lying, cheating, etc. etc. etc. all her life, had glorified GOD at the expense of suffering milions, had told the poor to continue (and rather enjoy) suffering? But why? Why should I nurture this legacy of lie? Mr. Quaker24, if you have proof that she was indeed good, she never lied, cheated people, etc. etc. then please come up with PROOF, don't try to wiggle yourself out of TRUTH, by taking recourse to words like 'godly', 'siantly', etc. I challenge you. For your kind information (and enlightenment) there is a book titled "Mother Teresa: The Final Verdict" by Aroup Chatterjee. If you read this and if you have an ounce of brain and conscience then you will be able to learn what TRUTH is. Read it please.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Read the book of Romans. My point is, you don't understand the Catholic veiw of suffering. God does not want us to suffer, but the past sins we have commited need to be made up, while the forgivness is there the punishment still exists, that's were purgatory comes in, it is not only a place for you after you die, but a state in which you live, if you suffer and offer the pain to God you are in purgatory. She has defended life, yes she has, she has said pro-life statements. Did you ever meet mother Teresa, some people have and said how wonderful she is, yet you may not have even met her and you condemn her. Stop condemning her when you have sins of your own. I see there is a lot of critisism of Mother Teresa, but Wikipedia doesn't like to touch very much on Bill Clinton. Why? Because wikipedia has very few morals other than not takeing any sides on issues, it does, it useually take the liberal side. Quaker24 08:41, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Hitler was much worse than Mother Teresa, at least she didn't kill over 7 million people. Quaker24 08:44, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

You see, Quaker24, you yourself have compared that so-called "Mother" Teresa with Hitler, even I didn't do it! In fact comparisons between satanic people come quite automatically!

Maybe if you really looked at what your saying you might change your mind. Quaker24 03:22, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Quaker24, I can't see how you can expect me to change my mind when you have failed miserably to show any proof in favour of your so-called "Mother" Teresa. You took recourse to meaningless religious gibberish about suffering and expect me to change my mind? Ain't you being a bit naive? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kazimostak (talkcontribs) 17:49, 27 January 2007 (UTC).

I agree with Quaker24, I don't see how you can trash an innocent woman's name for the sake of blaming someone for a problem. you are trying to put Mother Teresa on the same level as Hitler. Christiandude32 05:54, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Unbelievable, just UNBELIEVABLE! I am furnishing all the proof in the world before these people and still they are chanting: godly, saintly....! How can you not open your eye and see instead of trying to see through closed eye? She was neither wonderful nor godly, she was a cheat, a CHEAT! Go to the reference I am citing and check for yourself. PLEASE! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kazimostak (talkcontribs) 15:52, 29 January 2007 (UTC).

Jesus was persecuted, so are His followers, you keep saying all we do is "I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself." "And if we can accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?" Mother Teresa said this, how can someone who stands up for the unborn be a "cheat"? Quaker24 00:55, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Dear brother Quaker24, I have every respect for your religious feelings. I completely agree with you as far as Mother Teresa's religious stands are concerned. But I am also talking about her inhuman behaviour with dying people, receiving stolen money from world famous thieves, hobnobbing with dictators and thugs, and above all: relentless LYING and DECEIVING. I cannot agree with this and I am sure you also cannot agree with that. Let us keep religion in its place and other things in theirs. How on earth can you make a relentless liar a saint, for GOD'S sake? User:Kazimostak

I do not believe how terrible this article is, it seems to me Wikipedia is more interested in promoting itself then to giving a quality article about Mother Teresa, I like Wikipedia, but this article is a real shame, blaming this wonderful godly woman, I don't see why people are willing to trash this woman's reputation for the sake of Wikipedia! CamelHammel 06:02, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Please note that these pages are to discuss the article and not the subject. Thank you for helping maintaining talk-page discipline. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 03:52, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

[edit] Lack of sources / OR

moved from my talk page ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 07:17, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I have consolidated the subheadings in the criticism section to slightly alleviate your concern of undue weight. Do not add unstandard forms of headings though. As for the question of sourcing, if you take the trouble to read the history of the article, extensive sourcing and quotations from reliable sources were indeed there in the past, but ironically enough some people at the time thought that giving the sources in the article proper would give them undue weight. If you want to re-add the sourcing, it should be an easy excersise to go back to the earlier revisions and dig them up. Original research it is not. -- Cimon Avaro; on a pogostick. 07:12, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, but if sources are not provided, these stand as unsourced and as OR. Readers need to be able to verify these statements. I would also appreciate it if you avoid making comments such as "spurious tags" in your edit summaries. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 07:17, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Sources have been provided, and removed from the article. Please see Talk:Mother Teresa/Archive 8 and the other relevant talkpage archives for details. I will restrain myself from reverting your tags, until there is clear agreement on the matter, that the sourcing will not be removed from the article if added there. I don't know what other term one might use rather than "spurious" for tags added on facts that have been previously sourced, but for which sourcing was removed by Mother Theresas apologists. With the highest respect. -- Cimon Avaro; on a pogostick. 09:57, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
What would be the problem in adding sources in footnotes? ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 14:54, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
None at all, naturally. And if you were genuinely unaware of the past history of the article, I will grant my phrasing was unduely harsh. But please be aware there is a considerable history to this article, as the numeraous talk page archives bear ample witness. I will further grant that the original sourcing of the statements was in the article at a time when we didn't yet have the current facility for providing citations in footnotes. -- Cimon Avaro; on a pogostick. 22:23, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Cimon. If you point me in the right direction (read, which one of the archives), I am willing to help with this task. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 23:12, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

[edit] The TOC

There is no dispute that a few individuals, namely Christopher Hitchens, Aroup Chatterjee, have leveled strong criticism, and their POV needs to be presented in the article, but adding all these sub sections is a violation of WP:NPOV#Undue weight in the TOC. I have replaced the subsections with bolded text. I have also attributed the criticism to the named individuals as per WP:V. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 01:55, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

With this said, is there a specific reason we continually see this section hidden? I agree with how Jossi did it, but I don't think hiding it is appropriate. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:41, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

I just browsed to this site randomly, and I thought there seemed to be an awful lot of weight given to the criticism section. I was just going to post a comment here about it, but it looks like there's already an active discussion about it, so just consider me one more editor of the opinion that the criticism section has too much weight. Cogswobble 16:58, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

BTW, please, please read WP:MOSHEAD and observe the advice there on how to format subheadings. Those guidelines are there to help all editors and readers, and should be adhered to. -- Cimon Avaro; on a pogostick. 10:07, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

WP:MOS and WP:MOSHEAD are guidelines and cannot trump the policy of WP:NPOV. Adding a detail of the criticism by three individuals should not splatter the TOC with their viewpoints. I would suggest to either remove these subheadings or to list the criticism under headings of the names of people that make it. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 14:57, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I have tried that approach and it works really well IMO. In particular as there is text in the lead of that section that explain their viewpoint to be a minority one. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 15:02, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

If it makes any difference, the article about Mother Teresa on Encylopedia Britannica, and on Encarta make no mention of the criticisms of Mother Teresa. Not a single word. The criticism here is down to 1/4 of the article, but I still think having so many headings (seriously, a heading for two sentences?) gives it undue weight. I think it should be cut down to one paragraph - tops. Put the rest in different article. As the NPOV policy puts it:

To give undue weight to a significant-minority view, or to include a tiny-minority view, might be misleading as to the shape of the dispute. Wikipedia aims to present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties. This applies not only to article text, but to images, external links, categories, and all other material as well.... None of this is to say that tiny-minority views cannot receive as much attention as we can give them on pages specifically devoted to them. ... If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it does not belong in Wikipedia (except perhaps in some ancillary article) regardless of whether it is true or not; and regardless of whether you can prove it or not.

I'm a little bit partial myself (although I really think I'm mainstream, hehehe), otherwise, I'd make the change myself. I'm glad it's better than it used to be. When I first saw this article here years two years ago, it was 1/2 criticism, with no POV warning! After that, I quit reading wikipedia for any reason. The wikimodel is rough, because just a few obsessive people can make an article worthless. 20:56, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

My personal tribute to Mother Teresa, like millions of other Indians, I also admire and respect her.

[edit] Teresa or Theresa?

Both are used in the text of the article, rendering it haphazard and unprofessional-looking. Choose one (presumably "Teresa," as that's the title) and stick with it. Moncrief 20:52, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

[edit] New Picture?

The current picture of her looks pixelated... could we use another one?

Josh B. 04:24, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

[edit] Criticism: other

A few "citation needed" were added, a citation to Hindu Janajagruti Sumiti was removed (very POV) and an improperly written paragraph was replaced. I also removed a sentence in which it was said that "Mother Theresa´s supporters" admitted that she baptized the dying and where a reference to a letter to the NY review of books could be found. That sentence seemed to imply that her supporters generally admitted to this fact but provided no evidence to back this up. Rimfo 19:55, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Here is my unsolicited $.02 - The current critics section is not too long but the "Aroup Chatterjee " and "other" sections within Critics are not sourced and should be removed until they are properly sourced. I have no doubt that they are true, but so far the claims being made have not been sourced and therefore represent original research, original critical research at that. Mr Christopher 23:22, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

What the heck happened to all the other controversies in the article? The current section put more emphasis on the critics themselves like there are only a few people whose opinions aren't necessarily valid. What was wrong with the previous controversies section? That was way more balanced and gave the article some much needed facts. 03:13, 8 March 2007 (UTC)anonymous

[edit] Article cleanup.

Hello. This article is tagged as needing attention. I am going to start working on cleanup. Please feel free to comment. Majoreditor 01:27, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

[edit] Continued vandalism to this article -- it may need semi-protection

This article suffers from frequent vandalism. I'm not referring to criticism of Mother Teresa but rather crude, obscene edits. By my count it's happening more than once daily. Should the article be semi-protection to discourage vandals? Majoreditor 13:09, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

The article is now semi-protected to minimize vandalism. Majoreditor 14:22, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

[edit] Age when parents died

Was she 7 or 10? According to the source claiming she could have been 7, "Although most sources state that she was 10 when her father died, in an interview with her brother, it is said that she was in fact 7" - according to the source it is more likely that she was 10. Another source is needed. Sfacets 04:34, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

It's confusing. An official Vatican site syays she was "about eight". Majoreditor 04:50, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

[edit] Franciscan connection

The section is Original Research backed (barely) by one weak source, and drawing POV parallels between MT and Francis... more sources need to be found, or the section should go... Sfacets 15:24, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Give me 24 hours to see if I can find a source; if not, the entire section should be deleted. Majoreditor 16:47, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
The section is now properly sourced. However, one could argue that it's not significant enough to stand on its own and should be combined with other material in a different section. Any thoughts on this? Majoreditor 16:58, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

[edit] Possible Good Article?

This article has progressed and may be approaching Good Article status. I am going to request a peer review. Please feel free to comment. Majoreditor 21:19, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Go to the top of this talk page and click on the link to participate in the peer review. Majoreditor 21:33, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

[edit] Move and name change

ChrisLamb (talk contribs) moved this article to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and subsequently changed all instances of her name in the article (diff). I feel that such a large shift should be discussed first, so I've left a note here. Any thoughts? The ikiroid (talk·desk·Advise me) 01:28, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Completely subjective and non-neutral, one has only to look at the user's contributions. Just because it is her 'title' under the Catholic church 'law' doesn't make it official. Sfacets 01:34, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Whoa, they're a new editor and they may not be familiar with naming conventions here. Let's assume good faith, eh? But I think you are right about the name, see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names). The ikiroid (talk·desk·Advise me) 01:49, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I should - maybe I was being too hasty. But yes, the name 'Blessed Teresa of Calcutta' does not comply with naming conventions - I also requested a reference that "blessed Teresa" is her "official" title - and by which authority it was bestowed... Sfacets 01:55, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
You are correct, naming conventions are clear on the matter. The article should remain "Mother Teresa" . Majoreditor 02:02, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
That said -- ChrisLamb is correct that her official designation by the Catholic Church is Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. I have changed the introduction to reflect that and to mention her beatification. I have also cited sources. Majoreditor 02:18, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Good work, fits in nicely now. Sfacets 02:20, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Nice job with the citations. The ikiroid (talk·desk·Advise me) 03:26, 23 March 2007 (UTC)