Mother Teresa’s Canonization Dissed

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Mother Teresa’s Canonization Dissed

Pope Francis is not only a good pontiff as pastor, he is also a good pontiff as church politician. In canonizing two popes—Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II—who each represent the progressive and conservative wings, respectively, of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has shrewdly bridged the church's theological schism.

But in his effort to move the church forward, Francis has overlooked women in his calculus. And one person who was ahead of Pope John Paul II in the queue for canonization was Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

In October 2003, Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Teresa. Her legacy reveals not only an untold number of awards received during her lifetime- like the 1971 Pope John XXIII Peace and Nehru Prizes, to name a few—but it also reveals that in addition to the Catholics who revere her there are untold number of Sikh, Muslim and Hindu grass-root devotees.

"Her life of loving service to the poor has inspired many to follow the same path. Her witness and message are cherished by those of every religion as a sign that 'God still loves the world today," members of the Missionaries of Charity told the press after Mother Teresa's beatification was announced.

The Missionaries of Charity is the religious order Mother Teresa founded. These nuns, I image, like her devotees, are disappointed that Mother Teresa's canonization is being delayed if not dismissed. The under-lining issue (which no one's talking about openly and forcefully enough) is that Pope Francis has a problem with women. Its root cause is either personal or ecclesiastical. Or both. We do know, however, that Pope Francis doesn't have an issue with gay men.

His views on gay priests, while not quite in lockstep with its Catholic LGBTQ parishioners and allies, have, nonetheless, moved the farthest of any pontiff in history.  It must be noted that while some LGBTQ Catholics applaud Pope Francis queer-friendly remarks, there are many others who are suspect of them and don't feel the Pontiff's pronouncements are inclusive.

"The Pope was not speaking of all homosexuals, only to those of the cloth, “ Amber XIII commented on The New Yorker blog. And Amber XIII might be right. Gay men of the cloth in the Vatican are nothing new for the Pontiff. As a matter-of-fact, the homosocial and homosexual milieux of gay priests have