Pope Francis recently announced that Mother Teresa would become a saint on September 4th, nearly two decades after her death. I’m sure a lot of people, Catholics included, are celebrating this announcement. But, it’s important to look at what goes into the sainthood process, because it really doesn’t make any sense, and few people would dare to talk about it. After all, Mother Teresa’s supposed to be one of those people who’s immune from criticism. You can’t talk shit about Mother Teresa without people looking at you funny. But, I’ll try. So, what does it take to be a saint? Simply put, there needs to be proof that you played a role in two different miracles. And if you think those two ideas sound contradictory – proof and miracles… …Yeah! You’re right! The first “miracle” took place in 2003, and was approved by Pope John Paul II. He said that an Indian woman, Monica Besra, had been cured of an abdominal tumor all thanks to the supernatural intervention of Mother Teresa… …who had been dead for several years at that point. The story went like this: Besra had a tumor. Someone put a locket with Mother Teresa’s picture on her stomach, and then the tumor went away. That’s it. That’s the whole story. Clearly, Mother Teresa did it. The story tends to ignore how Besra suffered for years after Mother Teresa died, and it also ignores the fact that doctors kept working on her, even after that locket was placed on her stomach. But…you know. I’m sure the doctors had nothing to do with it. Beyond that, though, there was another more dangerous effect to this miracle claim. If people genuinely believe she was cured by a miracle, they may stop taking their medicine, their drugs, whatever will actually help them get better, because they’re just waiting for Mother Teresa to intervene. So that was the first “miracle.” Something that gave us no definitive proof, gave us plenty of reason to be skeptical, and could have a disasterous effect on other sick people. Way to go, Catholic Church. What about the second miracle? That one involved a Brazilian man with a viral brain infection who went into a coma. His story goes like this: his wife was praying for months for her husband to get better. And then, in 2008, the morning after he had surgery, he was right back to normal. Furthermore, doctors had previously told him he was sterile, but in the years after his “reawakening,” he had two more kids. Weird. Definitely weird, I will admit that. But, can we at least suggest that maybe the doctors got their diagnoses wrong? And isn’t it odd that the only medical professionals who are brought in to verify this “miracle” were convened by the Vatican? And isn’t it strange that we don’t know the guy’s name? Seriously. We don’t know his name, age, location, medical history, nothing! We’re just supposed to accept the story that the Vatican is telling us. After all this, it’s a tremendous leap to say, “Mother Teresa did it… from the grave!” It’s ridiculous. Ignorance doesn’t imply the truth of religion. This is just the Mother Teresa version of the “god of the gaps” fallacy. Impersonation: “We don’t know what happened, so Mother Teresa must’a done it!” And yet, it was enough for Pope Francis to call it a miracle. Her second one, enough to bestow sainthood on Mother Teresa. Even beyond the miracles though, there are all the criticisms levied at Mother Teresa by Christopher Hitchens, in his book “The Missionary Position,” where he basically went after her for her stances on abortion and contraception. She may have helped poor people, but her beliefs made their lives worse in aggregate, because they had larger families, compounding their poverty and hunger. She also believed that being poor wasn’t such a bad thing. It was a “blessing,” and all the more reason to keep poverty-stricken people in their place. The organization she founded, Missionaries of Charity, even said, last year they will not help facilitate orphan adoptions, because India allows parents to adopt kids if they are single, divorced or separated. The point is, her beliefs are still making life worse for people who could really use the help. So this is what it takes to become a saint, these days. Two bogus miracles that amount to nothing more than, “Eh! We’re not really sure what happened,” and a whole bunch of bad ideas rooted in the Catholic Church that have hurt countless women, children and families, even after her death. And don’t forget, there’s reason to believe that she wasn’t even really religious in the final decades of her life. There is no evidence, whatsoever, that Mother Teresa has any direct impact on the world anymore, much less that she’s performing miracles in her spare time now. Look, if church officials wanted to honor the work she did during her lifetime, so be it. Instead, they’re making up things she’s been working on since her death, and awarding her for their theories. If that doesn’t tell you how bogus the entire Catholic Church is, I don’t know what will. My name is Hemant Mehta, and I write at FriendlyAtheist.com What do you want to see a video about? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll be sure to check it out, and don’t forget to subscribe.