Bill Donohue comments on a New York Times story that was published in its August 27 edition:
Dr. Aroup Chatterjee is not your ordinary Indian physician: he is a left-wing propaganda specialist who hates Mother Teresa. He, along with the late Christopher Hitchens, were the first to attack Mother Teresa in the 1990s with their documentary, “Hell’s Angel.”
The title of the article is revealing: “A Critic’s Lonely Quest: Revealing the Whole Truth About Mother Teresa.” Why, if Chatterjee is telling the truth about Mother Teresa, is he a lonely critic? Why doesn’t he have a big following in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta)? )? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that so many Kolkatans have had first-hand experience dealing with the nuns and regard his criticisms as laughable.
In fact, as even the article says, he has no following whatsoever. He admits that he is a “complete nincompoop” for thinking that his fellow Kolkatans would “absolutely fall over me with garlands and roses” for his efforts “to expose this lady.” Instead, “he said he began to feel Kolkatans turning against him.” He’s more than a nincompoop—he’s a fraud.
Any documentary worth its salt is expected to include interviews with those who worked with the person featured in the film. But Chatterjee and Hitchens were never interested in the truth, which explains why no one from the Missionaries of Charity was interviewed for “Hell’s Angel,” and neither was anyone whom they helped.
Chatterjee accuses Mother Teresa of unhygienic practices. As I pointed out in my new book, Unmasking Mother Teresa’s Critics, over their decades of service, the mortality rate of those in the care of the nuns dropped precipitously; we would not expect such results if the care were substandard. Moreover, independent assessments of the quality of service, provided by Dr. Robin Fox, praised the sisters for their cleanliness.
To show how irrational Chatterjee is, consider that on the one hand he condemns Mother Teresa for giving Kolkata a bad name—it is known for its destitution—and on the other hand he says that when he worked there in the early 1980s, “I never even saw any nuns in those slums that I worked in.”
Mother Teresa did not import the poor from her home country of Albania: she found the sick and dying in the streets of Kolkata. Blaming her for the city’s lousy poverty conditions is like blaming Chicago cops for the city’s lousy crime record. And if the nuns are such a problem, then why isn’t Chatterjee delighted about not finding any when he worked there?
Like so many of Mother Teresa’s critics (there aren’t that many of them, but they get a lot of ink), Chatterjee sees the work of the Missionaries of Charity as “an imperialist venture of the Catholic Church.” So when altruistic nuns come from around the world to Kolkata—a city whose socialist policies have created untold suffering—to serve the dispossessed, it is an “imperialist venture of the Catholic Church.”
The only sensible conclusion one can come to after hearing Chatterjee’s lament is that the world would benefit greatly from more “imperialist ventures of the Catholic Church.”