Letter: Not so saintly Mother Teresa

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The Independent Online
Mother Teresa's refusal to accept food or drink (and her taking the money instead for the poor) is nothing but an affectation aimed at impressing the media ("Deifying Diana, an icon for India", 5 October). She routinely travelled first class on planes. And a large amount, if not the majority, of the money she collected was spent on religious activities, such as on the upkeep of the hundreds of nunneries (which have no charitable functions) that her order maintains around the world.

Re-using old needles in her homes in India is normal practice (I speak as a former volunteer at her home for the dying in Calcutta), but she herself had treatments which only the richest Indians can afford; she also had treatment at exclusive clinics such as the Scripps at La Jolla, California.

It is true that she was not too well disposed toward actresses playing her, but it is also true that she appeared in at least a dozen documentaries advertising her faith and her "humility".

Dr Z Kittler

London E9

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