The study — done by Serge Larivie and Genevieve Chenard and presented in the Journal of Studies in Religion/Sciences — says a lot of Mother Teresa’s image was media-built, reports Opposing Views.
Larivie and Chenard argue that Mother Teresa’s public image belies her attitudes toward the poor and sick that she was famous for helping. The two argue that the missions she set up for the poor were lacking in basic sanitary facilities, actual medical treatments and food. Instead, they focused on prayer and fundraising.
While her missions were focused on the poor, the study says Mother Teresa raised millions of dollars in charitable donations that were placed into secret accounts and not used to alleviate poverty.
Still, the researchers believe that Mother Teresa has inspired people around the world.
“If the extraordinary image of Mother Teresa conveyed in the collective imagination has encouraged humanitarian initiatives that are genuinely engaged with those crushed by poverty, we can only rejoice,” Larivie says.