Pope Francis is actively participating in the elevation of the odious and unscrupulous nun, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, aka Mother Teresa of Calcutta, to the Catholic sainthood with a second highly dubious 'miracle' which he has ordered should be attributed to her.
During the reign of Pope John Paul II, the rules for elevation to the sainthood in the Catholic Church were simplified, making it easier and quicker to produce a new saint to order whenever and wherever one was needed. Where previously it had required four 'miracles' attributable to a dead Catholic, preferably a martyred one, it now requires only two. Where there had to be a 'cooling off' period of five years following the candidate's death, this can now be waived on petitioning the Pope. The official position of Devil's Advocate has also now been abolished. As a result of these relaxations, and of course, totally unrelated to the flood of sexual abuse and financial scandals which just happened to engulf the Catholic Church at the same time, the number of canonisations has gone up from 98 in the 20th-century prior to the reforms to 476 by Pope John Paul II alone with a further 1,300 beatifications.
This second 'miracle', apparently, is the curing of an unidentified Brazilian man of 'multiple brain tumours' after he claims he prayed to Mother Teresa. This claim will now be scrutinized, but no-one is taking any bets that it will be declared a fake. The Catholic Church's approach to these new canonisations seems to be to determine who is to be canonised next and look for an excuse for it. Sooner or later, and usually sooner, someone will be found who has been 'miraculously cured' of something incurable, though it will never include regeneration of an amputated limb, and provided enough paper can be put in a folder and presented as evidence, it will be declared authentic and the 'evidence' will be locked away from prying eyes in the Vatican archives.
A prime example of this was the first Mother Teresa 'miracle' - the 'curing' of a previously medically cured 'cancer' - which was actually a tuberculous mass - in an illiterate indian peasant woman called Monica Besra. Her medical records, which detailed her treatment and cure at a local hospital, were handed to Mother Teresa's nuns by a hospital administrator but then miraculously disappeared.
Equally miraculously, a number of testimonies to the hopelessness of Monica Besra's condition and the miraculousness of her cure from a number of doctors appeared in the records collected by the Vatican's investigator, but these doctors, of whom the hospital has no record of employment, appear to have been as miraculously disappeared as Monica's medical records. Then by a final miracle, a neatly written testimony in perfect English, containing details of Catholic doctrine of which a lay person would be unaware, and signed by the illiterate Monica Besra who spoke only a few words of English and wrote in Hindi, appeared and was handed to the Vatican investigator by a nun.
Not a single report by any of the real doctors who treated Monica Besra appeared in the thousands of pages presented to the Vatican to support Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu's beatification.
A measure of the diligence with which the 'evidence' was assessed can be gauged from Christopher Hitchens' experience as a witness. He had been invited, clearly as it turned out, more for the PR than for what he had to show by way of evidence against the 'miracle' and the saintliness of Mother Teresa, to play the part of Devil's Advocate. He had previously researched and written 'The Missionary Position' exposing the Mother Teresa legend as a fraud, detailing her support for such characters as the Haiti dictator Papa Doc Duvalier and his murderous clan, and convicted fraudster, Charles Keating, Jnr.
In his book, Hitchens had exposed how, far from ministering to the sick and dying, Mother Teresa's hospices were almost threadbare with patients dying on makeshift litters, deprived of painkillers and so short of medical equipment that nurses had to wash hypodermic needles under a tap and try to sharpen them for reuse. Mother Teresa worshipped pain and suffering believing it enabled patients to experience what Jesus suffered and would bring Jesus to her to show his appreciation. The entire purpose of the hospices was to gather dying people together to allow them to experience Jesus' suffering so Jesus would appreciate Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu and reveal himself to her.
Meanwhile, the millions of dollars flowing into her bank accounts was used not to improve the hospices, but to build new nunneries in different countries to accommodate the new religious order she was founding in her own name, while she flew around the world first class. When she needed medical care herself, her hospices were not considered good enough so she was treated in the best available hospitals in America. Meanwhile, her nuns were required to beg on the streets for food on which to feed those they were 'caring' for.
Hitchens began his evidence to the Vatican committee by summarising his book and presenting it as evidence. He then expected to be cross-examined closely on his claims and to be asked to provide substantiating documentation. Instead, he was read a list of 236 questions one by one and permitted only to answer yes or no. The predetermined checklist having been duly completed, he was thanked and asked to leave. No one had shown the slightest interest in his independent research or his sources.
And now Pope Francis is helping rush through the 'verification' of this second 'miracle' in time, it is believed, for the formal canonisation of St. Teresa of Calcutta this September.
Once again, faced with scandals that just won't go away and more people finding the courage to come forward with evidence as the Church's authority dwindles, and faced with a haemorrhage of members in disgust at the continuing homophobia and misogyny of the Catholic Church, 'honest' Pope Frankie has decided to give pulling the wool over the eyes of his credulous followers yet another try, in the best deceptive traditions of the Catholic Church. The disgusting old hag who made people suffer for her own glorification, who took money off any criminals or right-wing murderous dictators willing to give it, who opposed any moves to alleviate the poverty that created the large pool of suffering people she collected together to smile beatifically over, and who confessed to a friend that she had lost faith and doubted that God was there, is to be made a saint.