Mother Teresa: closet atheist

Remember Mother Teresa? You may recall often today, every time someone fails to commit an act of selfishness, they are automatically criticized for not being like her. This woman is still revered by many as a symbol of goodness and generosity. Unfortunately, it would seem her saintliness was not a result of her religious conviction. It seems to have been only a facade, as recently published letters indicate for years, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu had completely lost her faith.

This stunning revelation is made all the more confusing by the fact its publisher, Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, released the letters in order to bolster Mother Teresa’s chances at sainthood. Why? Well, according to this obviously confused preacher man, it supposedly demonstrates her tortured nature, and difficulty in accepting what can only be described by this humble writer as reality. Here are a few choice quotes from her:

“Where is my faith? Even deep down, there is nothing but emptiness and darkness… If there be God” please forgive me!

Such deep longing for God: Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal

What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.”

She had asked that the letters be destroyed after her death, to cover up the reality that for almost a decade, she had completely lost her faith. The church decided otherwise, for reasons which are still quite baffling.

It’s a strange reminder that those who shroud themselves in the veils of saintliness often do so to cover up some gigantic character flaw. Obviously, I’m not saying her faithlessness was such a flaw; on the contrary, it was a woman admitting to herself there simply was no real evidence for her belief. Still, you have to wonder how many other high profile religious folks are simply closet atheists, hiding secret diaries that would otherwise expose their inability to admit to themselves and the world they have stopped believing in fairy tales.

Comments (4)

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    Interesting to say the least. This has made me think.

  • avatar


    I am so glad to see this post- When i first heard about her deepest thoughts, I didn’t hold that against her- I felt- “welcome to reality!” What upset me was that she wanted the thoughts destroyed- I dont think that we will ever know for sure what motivated that feeling, as a sometimes writer, I think those thoughts as well- Things in print tend to become permanent – so, I was going to write a blog myself– After all- I believe in our time, she appeared to be the most giving, and selfless human on the planet! So- I started my research, and ran into Penn and Tellers take on her (and the Dali Lama) I suffered a “heart attack” and gave up– You did a fine job, here. :)-
    I had heard that with therapy, she had been taught to embrace the dark– I know this (personally) to be a great growing, enlightening, and fulfilling way toward understanding-

    I believe that had she lived longer, she would have become a Buddhist- to say the least– she would have had to live a lot longer to accept being an atheist! 🙂

  • avatar


    The quotes by Mother Teresa are not necessarily indicative of her being an Atheist. I think she, like many other Christians, especially the Christians that are humanitarians, philosophers, artists, and lawyers struggled in their faith as she did. Even famous Christian authors like Fyodor Dostoevsky and Soren Kierkegaard have quotes similar to that.

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