Talk:Mother Teresa/Archive 2

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For previous discussion, see

See Talk:Mother Teresa/Groundrules


Easy Issues

Put your user name (three tildes) next to each option you can live with. These are not votes per se, but it helps others to see what everyone else thinks we should do.

Where to put the article

Note: any title(s) not chosen will redirect to the chosen title

What to call the person

First reference (bold, opening words of the article):

Google, last 3 months, on 15 Nov 2003:

  • "Mother Teresa": 332,000
  • "Teresa of Calcutta": 20,700
  • "Blessed Teresa": 1,350

Given our policies, the answer on the article name seems clear and it also seems clear that we need to mention all three versions in the opening paragraph, with Teresa of Calcutta the most droppable (because blessed is now her official title and has to stay for that reason). JamesDay 09:28, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC) There is no difference between 'Blessed' and 'Duchess'. Or 'Sri'. These are styles. As long as Wikipedia is consistent, that's what matters Wetman 22:13, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Hard Issues

  • How much criticism do we want in this article?
    • As much as can be written about neutrally. If any particular source begins to dominate, we could create a linked article which just describes that criticism.
  • Who is "qualified" to be a critic?
    • Christoper Hitchens?
      • Not for me (see reasons far above). Pfortuny
  • How do we deal with "unqualified" critics?
    • Ignore them altogether
    • Mention briefly that they've offered criticism?
      • Link to their website or magazine interview?
      • Have a separate article summarizing their book?

Specific sections of the article

If a sysop protects the article, we can still edit the excerpts below. We can even display multiple versions!

First paragraph

Teresa of Calcutta, known for most of her life as Mother Teresa, (August 26 1910 - September 5 1997), Catholic nun and founder of the Missionaries of Charity, became a figure of veneration within the Catholic church, and admiration beyond it, for her work among the poor of Calcutta. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in October 2003, and Catholics call her Blessed Teresa.

  • It is absurd to title the article with a name that no-one recognises and was never used in her lifetime.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta (August 26 1910 - September 5 1997), Catholic nun and founder of the Missionaries of Charity, became a figure of veneration within the Catholic church, and admiration beyond it, for her work among the poor of Calcutta. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in October 2003, and Catholics call her Blessed Teresa.

  • Has Alexandros accepted that he will not edit the article or abuse people in the Talk page without Pfortuny's clearance?
  • Adam 16:20, 14 Nov 2003 (UTC)



Alexandros has a clean slate. Why? Because I said so, and no one objected :-)

He doesn't need clearance from anyone to edit the article; it's been unprotected.

I'm sure he won't "abuse" anyone, as you put it -- especially if we all are "nice" to him! --Uncle Ed 19:14, 14 Nov 2003 (UTC)


I like the Mother Teresa of Calcutta opening. It nicely covers two of the Google name search results I posted above. Not sure that "Catholics call here Blessed Teresa" is right - wouldn't something like "the Catholic church now officially calls her..." be better, unless Catholics have generally switched from Mother Teresa - seems quite unlikely to me that they have. JamesDay 09:31, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Definitely support "now officially calls her." I've never heard anyone use it.Jmabel <how do you guys do that timestamp thing?>

Type ~~~ and it will be converted to your user name when you save. Type ~~~~ to get user name and timestamp. The tilde ~ character is often just to the left of the number 1 at the top left of US keyboards. JamesDay 11:36, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)

To Ed, from on bended knee

So, a big round of applause for Ed for taking time out of his busy schedule to demonstrate to us blithering halfwits mired in mindless bickering how collaborative decision-making works. I guess we just needed a guy with uncle in his name to set us straight, and I propose that when he is done here we see if we can't fast-track him too for beatification -- I think Blessed would be much more becoming and appropriate title.

Your humble servant, Viajero 20:09, 14 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Note to the humor-impaired: the above was meant as sarcasm.

I said earlier that I wouldn't participate further in editing this article unless Aplank (now Alexandros) was banned from editing. I later modified that by accepting Pfortuny's proposal that he act as an intermediary between Alex and the page: ie, that Alex will not edit without Pfort's approval. I still have not seen an explicit statement from Pfort that that arrangement is now in place, or from Alex that he accepts it. Until I see both of these I maintain my view that editing cannot go ahead. Adam 06:23, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I have not that agreement. As I told you the above post is what I got. On the other hand I think it is not wise from you to expect from me to agree to that. You may expect it from Alex, but not from me. Pfortuny 08:03, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC) Maybe Pedro ---which is my name--- is simpler to type than Pfortuny? :).

Well in that case we can't proceed, IMHO. Adam 10:03, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC)






Also, here is a piece of text I posted at the debate about Wahhabism. It is also relevant here, because the problem is the same. Just substitute "fundamentalist Catholicism" for "Islam."

A comment on Anjouli's opinion on Wikipedia. Historically the encyclopaedia is a characteristic project of the Enlightenment intellectual (Diderot, Voltaire etc). It rests on the assumption that there is an objective truth about all subjects, which can be known to humans and discerned through scientific inquiry, and written about dispassionately by the enlightened intellectual. WP reflects this ideology as much as any other encyclopaedia, and so it should. This ideology cannot help but be hostile to the absolutist religious view of the world, which holds that knowledge belongs to God and can only be known to humans through revelation or scripture. That absolutist view is today most typically represented by Islam, although it exists also in Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism. The very fact that we are writing about Islam in a rationalist and secularist manner makes us hostile to Islam whatever our subjective intention, so we might as well acknowledge that. We can try as hard as we like to be NPOV about Islam, but we will never succeed in doing so in a manner satisfactory to serious Muslims. So we shouldn't try to defer to them. (I take the same view in relation to Catholics at Mother Teresa, by the way: as an atheist I have no specific hostility to Islam, just to the theocratic worldview in general). Adam 06:23, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Well, only with some minor changes (and I mean minor) I agree to translating that using "fundamentalist Catholicism" (wiht the adjective). The text with that phrasing is correct for me (but I insist, with one or two modifications). Because any fundamentalism is as far from the truth as any relativism. In medio virtus. Pfortuny 08:03, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Since Alex has neither been banned from this page nor agreed to refrain from editing it, I am, as previously advised, withdrawing from work on this article. I have made a contribution in the form of the biography section but I have better things to do then endlessly defend it against religious fanatics. Pax vobiscum. Adam 05:51, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I only want to express my regret and tell the others to realize that Adam's withdrawal is most harmful for this article. Its history and the debates here bear witness to this. Pfortuny 10:34, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Pfortuny: While I agree that Hitchens is for the most part unqualified, it would still be appropriate to mention him if it only takes up less than 5 sentences. I would be willing to alot a little more room if others want more than 5 sentences of criticism, but I think we all agree, that the criticism section should be at least shortened, and I am sure that no one thinks it should be longer. Alexandros 22:35, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I won't object to a brief mention (or to his evaporation from the article) for the reasons I gave. But I think we need much more consensus here before making any changes to that section. Pfortuny 09:08, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I would like to propose a vote then.

VOTE:The criticism should be shortened to only 5 paragraphs or less.

Yes

No

  • —Eloquence 14:00, Nov 17, 2003 (UTC) (nonsense, this article has already been butchered by Teresa-fans beyond recognition and in violation of every neutrality policy that has ever been written)
Could you please point the names? I am not aware. Pfortuny 14:53, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Peruse the archives and the page history. Conspicuously missing, for example: Robin Fox noted that Teresa's order does not distinguish between curable and incurable patients. That means that people who could otherwise survive will die because of infections and insufficient care! These people go to Teresa's homes in expectation of food, shelter and medical help, and what they get is a graveyard, with secret baptisms before their passing (and food only if they have food stamps, distributed chiefly to - you guessed it - good Catholics). Where did the pictures go, anyway? There was never any consensus decision to remove them. Partisans like Aplank have tried to dominate this article and turn it into a love-fest for Mother T., to ignore criticism under the pretense that critics are not qualified (a work critical of MT apparently needs an official church imprimatur to be accepted!), and to remove everything that contradicts their preconceived notions. This ridiculous and primitive understanding of "bias" that is underlying these uninformed opinions would mean that the only person qualified to write about Mother Teresa is someone who knows nothing about her (hence no bias).
Ask yourself, in all honesty, what you are trying to achieve: Are you trying to comply with our neutrality policy -- because if anything, this article is currently biased in MT's favor, ignoring "negative" pictures, summarizing away important details and missing lots of the criticisms in Chatterjee's book -- or are you trying to uphold an image that has been etched into your brain, unwilling and unable to change your opinion about a person that has been beatified and canonized by the media even before the church could get on the job? Those who are not willing to examine the MT issue with an open mind should withdraw from this article and focus on pages they are more qualified to edit. I'm sure there are some historical controversies about the immaculate conception that are not yet covered.
It's this simple: If the Church refuses to address the criticisms of MT, then they will remain without objection by the Church. If the Church feels that they can ignore how MT is perceived in academic and intellectual circles, as long as the unwashed masses continue to see her as the saint she wasn't, then nobody here should be surprised that the criticism section in the article about MT remains largely without answers. It is completely fallacious and ignorant to blame the critics for the lack of any kind of rebuttal or response to these criticisms, or to demand that they be shortened or removed because of that. If the same logic was applied on the Israel/Palestinian issue on Wikipedia, there'd be Wiki World War III in no time ("the Israelis have not responded, so let's just cut down the Palestinian position to 5 paragraphs").
The attempt by some Wikipedians to fill the holes in the MT picture with their own explanations is so clearly in violation of NPOV it's embarrassing. Wikipedia draws on published facts and opinions, not on the opinions of its authors. If you know of published rebuttals to the criticisms, then include them by all means, I'll be the first to assist you if you need any help. But don't butcher away facts you don't like to achieve Fox News style "balance".—Eloquence 15:20, Nov 17, 2003 (UTC)
So you are pointing Aplank? That is what I was asking for. I never said I was happy with his edits, as you can see in the history. Anyone else?
Conceptually (not the precise content) I quite agree with your text, but I might also tell you that people have a lot to do better than refuting ridiculous accusations: and I know you agree with me. Work comes before rebutting stupidity.
Please assume honesty on my part as I assume it on yours. Pfortuny 15:43, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Eloquence, could you calm down and cheer up? Yes, it is me Pfortuny 17:28, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)

No

Missing facts and criticisms

  • Details on MT's campaign against abortion and contraception, which often included high level last minute political meetings to prevent a certain bill from passing
  • The real world extent of her operations in Calcutta, e.g. the lack of ambulance support even though the order possesses city-donated ambulances (used to carry the nuns through the city), no medical help for people who still have living relatives, however distant
  • Chatterjee's observations on MT rarely even being in Calcutta in her later years, preferring to spend her time in Rome or New York (Lady Di tried to arrange a meeting with MT in Calcutta, nine times, which eventually had to be held in Rome because MT was never there!)
  • Chatterjee's various, well-documented rebuttals of MT's countless numerical claims about her order's size and extent of her operations, which often contradicted each other, and were nowhere near the real data (those who explain this with MT being bad with numbers should realize that she never erred to her disadvantage, see chapter 2 in Chatterjee's book)
  • Her and her order's lack of intervention in any real world catastrophes, while the order continued to exaggerate its own relevance in media interviews (see chapter 1 in Chatterjee's book)
  • the Muggeridge connection -- Muggeridge was a staunch anti-secularist whose early work about MT propelled her to international fame. Muggeridge was also part of the "Congress for Cultural Freedom", a CIA organization founded for the purpose of spreading propaganda to counter the "communist threat" (documented in F. Stonor Saunders: Who Paid the Piper?), see chapter 3 in Chatterjee's book
  • MT's spiritual doubts (see last section in this revision)
  • the fake "miracle" required for her beatification, also included in the same revision but missing from the current one

Potential separate article:


  • Mother Teresa and the media - could include the Muggeridge history and other relevant material, e.g. statistics on how many critical/non-critical articles were published over the years

Stuff for Missionaries of Charity

  • Torture allegations can be moved there since MT likely had nothing to do with the few cases where that occurred
  • Comparison with other charities operating in Calcutta (see chapter 11 of Chatterjee's book)

And there's still a lot of stuff missing even when that is added. Let's face it: Virtually everyone working on this article so far (including myself) has focused on "sanitizing" the criticism section that is currently in it, even though Chatterjee's well researched book is available in full text, for free, on the web. I challenge MT's defenders to read it and argue why these criticisms should not be included in the article.—Eloquence 17:38, Nov 17, 2003 (UTC)


Accuracy dispute

Who disputes the factual accuracy? What do they dispute? I want specific paragraphs and claims, otherwise I will remove the dispute header.—Eloquence 17:39, Nov 17, 2003 (UTC)

Yes, you are right. Nobody disputes the factual accuracy. Apologies.
Yes, you are right in the above paragraphs also. There are lots of stuff missing: a cousin of mine told me that they hated Mother Teresa in his village for not building up a factory there. Should this be included?
You had better calm down, Eloquence. Pfortuny 17:52, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Pfortuny 17:52, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)

If there is a publication about your cousin's opinion, and there is any relevant context that explains why these actions of MT contradict his expectations, e.g. if MT promised to provide funds for building it and did not do so, then yes, of course it should be included. It would be helpful if you could provide real world examples instead of made up ones, though.—Eloquence 17:59, Nov 17, 2003 (UTC)


By the way may the others notice that Eloquence is going agaist the (maybe tacit) agreements concerning photos, captions, etc...? Pfortuny 17:55, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Nonsense. I have used Jtdirl's captions as they were before the images were inexplicably removed.—Eloquence 17:59, Nov 17, 2003 (UTC)
If you could give a link? Pfortuny 18:01, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I already did - see links above. Check the history and you will find that my original captions were much longer; I still think that they should be reinstated and there was no clear consensus either way, but I'll let it rest for now.—Eloquence

Eloquence, you win: I give up this page for a month at least. Mother Teresa wants our happiness, and it would be absurd to waste time here on her behalf. Enjoy your editing meanwhile. Pfortuny 18:03, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)

By MT's definition, happiness was suffering -- according to that view, your departure makes me very unhappy.—Eloquence 18:23, Nov 17, 2003 (UTC)

Don't be so sarcastic, Erik. Can you possibly for one minute be constructive and neutral and leave your personal agenda to one side? FearÉIREANN 20:41, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I have said what I think needs to be changed in the current article. Do you have any other suggestions? Given that the article largely reflects the result of the recent vote as it is, I don't see any reason for you to be still grumpy.—Eloquence 21:05, Nov 17, 2003 (UTC)


Eloquence, you win: As Pfortuny said, " Mother Teresa wants our happiness, and it would be absurd to waste time here on her behalf. Enjoy your editing meanwhile." Your removal of the quotes from Mother Teresa is the last straw. I agree with Jtdirl. When you have become neutral, I will possibly come back. Alexandros 21:22, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)

As I have explained, we should avoid self-references ("Wikiquote says .." -- see Wikipedia:Avoid self-references) and isolated quotation sections and try to integrate such material into the article proper. Alternatively, add a link to the Wikiquote page to "External links". Wikiquote should not be treated by Wikipedia any different from any other website, so that third parties re-using our material (see Wikipedia:Sites using Wikipedia content) will not have to clean it from Wikimedia-idiosyncratic material. This has nothing to do with the quote content, it is purely a matter of style.—Eloquence 21:33, Nov 17, 2003 (UTC)

I will take out Torture section as it is too obscure to include and does not concern mother teresa. There IS an article about the mission of charity. Alexandros 22:37, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)


Please move it there instead of deleting it entirely.—Eloquence 04:32, Nov 26, 2003 (UTC)

It fails just about every criteria for inclusion. Its heading is POV. Its content is unevidenced. It does not have relevance to the subject of the article. It would not stand 30 seconds in any professionally edited encyclopædia and deserved instant deletion. FearÉIREANN 19:26, 26 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Wrong, James, on all counts. At the point where you have published witness reports from reasonably credible persons, as well as news reports, as well as an admission of inappropriate behavior from the person running the homes, the allegations become worthy of inclusion, although I do agree (and have always agreed) that they do not necessarily belong here.—Eloquence 20:06, Nov 26, 2003 (UTC)

No, Erik. Ever heard of source, relevance, context, the mantra for accurate writing? The source expresses opinions that no link to the person being discussed. As there is no link there is no relevance. And professional writing is based on factual contextualisation, again which has no point here. I am not saying the allegations are true or untrue. I am saying that in the context of an encyclopædic article, the source is not sufficiently backed up by evidence, and cannot be without going down irrelevant tangents in the context of this article. And there is 0 relevance. FearÉIREANN 20:18, 26 Nov 2003 (UTC)~

The standard of evidence is sufficient for making the statements that have been made, and the relevance is obvious given their gravity, just like we would (and do) write about child sex abuse allegations against MJ, even if they are as of yet less substantiated than the ones against the MoC. As I said, however, this discussion should be moved to Missionaries of Charity.—Eloquence 20:54, Nov 26, 2003 (UTC)
  • sigh*. Here we go again. The community edit the page down to introduce some degree of NPOV and encylopædic content, and Erik jumps in and undoes everything and decides to go back to his version, including bits all sides agree to take out. No, Erik. We are not going back in time to play to your prejudices. FearÉIREANN 19:32, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)
    • Thank you Jtdirl. After the page was reverted, Erik said this to me :
Massive reverts of the type you did on the Mother Teresa article are entirely unacceptable and in violation of every established rule and policy on Wikipedia. If you continue this, I will report this behavior and you will quite possibly be banned from editing.—Eloquence 05:26, Nov 29, 2003 (UTC)
I think the way he threatens individual wikipedians is a problem in itself, but the issue is Mother Teresa. If he does another addition of this POV rubbish, someone else would need to revert, as I would rather stay away from conflict. Alexandros 19:38, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

You're lying, James. The additions were meaningful and neutral, and not in contradiction with any past agreements. Obviously you can't read either. Alexandros reverted to a version which contains paragraphs like this: "These people go to Teresa's homes in expectation of food, shelter and medical help, and what they get is a graveyard, with secret baptisms before their passing." Of course Alexandros hasn't read this because he just blindly reverts. This was added by Ed Poor directly from the talk page and fixed by me later. —Eloquence 20:13, Nov 29, 2003 (UTC)

No, I reverted to Ed Poor's edit. You are mistaken. Alexandros 21:30, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

My take on this article: Why should those pictures not be included? Sure, they show MT in a bad light because she associates with questionable characters (see also picture on Donald Rumsfeld). However, it was of her own volition that she associated with said people. This is not a mere inclusion of "stupid" pictures, such as eg. a picture of someone picking their nose. These pictures are relevant. Removing them is therefore a deletion of factual information - not acceptable. I did a quick search through this talk page and its archive for the string "picture" and "image". Nowhere did I find any discussion on removing the pictures. Maybe someone can point me to it or recap the arguments for removing this information. I do not think that Erik's comment regarding the banning of Alexandros were appropriate, but that should not distract us from improving this article. --snoyes 21:25, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)


Alexandros is Aplank, his past edits to this articles have been so POV to be ludicrous. This massive revert is merely the tip of the iceberg.—Eloquence 21:28, Nov 29, 2003 (UTC)
I have never made a POV teresa edit. (unless blanking the entire page, which I did out of ignorance, counts) Alexandros
You did not just blank the entire page, you repeatedly tried to remove everything negative about MT. It is quite clear that you lack the necessary emotional distance to edit this article.—Eloquence
The community agreed upon Adam Carr's version which did NOT include the images. Therefore, the community agreed upon the irrelevence of the images. Alexandros 21:27, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)
No, the community agreed on Adam's text, there was no vote on the pictures. Everyone has the right to report policy violations, and I intend to exercise that right if necessary to stop the pro-Catholic apologists from mutilating this article beyond recognition.—Eloquence
A vote is the wrong method anyway. The question is simple: "Do the pictures constitute information that is both true and relevant to the article". I doubt anyone would claim that they are fake, and I am of the opinion that they are relevant.--snoyes 21:32, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Pro-catholic apologists? This is an article about a person, not the catholic church. Issues such as their stance on abortion are irrelevent in this biography. It is not necessary to mention every single point that ONE author made about Mother Teresa. How is removing hearsay from some randomn person who "says"(notice we have no way of verifying) that she worked for the ministries of charity and thought the conditions were bad. Regardless, that would belong in the mission of charity article. Alexandros
"Issues such as their stance on abortion are irrelevent in this biography." That is just ludicrous. Take a step back and look at your statement. More generically one can reformulate your statement: "Biographies should not contain the philosophical and political opinions of the person." Any reasonable person would agree that this is ludicrous. --snoyes 21:47, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)
If MT had merely held these beliefs, it would barely be noteworthy. The fact that she actively lobbied for them on the political level, and implemented them, both at the expense of the quality of her charity, very much is, and well documented both by supporters and critics.—Eloquence 21:40, Nov 29, 2003 (UTC)
You use critics as plural, but there were only 1-3 PEOPLE in the world who didn't like teresa, and they are irrelevant because their beliefs are not based on any factual evidence. Regardless, some quote from a "volunteer" of the charity should not be included and that is what you are callimg "POV". Alexandros 21:42, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)
there were only 1-3 PEOPLE in the world who didn't like teresa You continue to disqualify yourself from any serious work with ludicrous comments like this one.—Eloquence 21:44, Nov 29, 2003 (UTC)
I would hardly call an overexageration a ludicrous comment. Alexandros

Eloquence's bullying of non-sysops through abusing his sysop powers warrant his loss of them. His cackhanded attempts to intimidate people into letting his do what he wants raise questions as to whether he should be banned. FearÉIREANN 21:51, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Jtdirl's bullying of non-sysops through abusing his sysop powers warrant his loss of them. His cackhanded attempts to intimidate people into letting his do what he wants raise questions as to whether he should be banned.—Eloquence 21:53, Nov 29, 2003 (UTC)

Saying that someone else should be tried for murder too doesnt mean that you are innocent. This is a childish attempt at a rebuttal. Alexandros
There is nothing to rebut here. As soon as Jtdirl makes an informed comment, you can be sure that I will respond in detail.—Eloquence 21:56, Nov 29, 2003 (UTC)

Page protected again. Grow up! Angela 21:57, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Continued reverts to a massively mutilated version will not be tolerated, protection or not.—Eloquence

Can everyone just calm down a bit and actually discuss the article. I still have not seen _one single_ argument made for the deletion of the images. --snoyes 21:58, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

The widespread belief was there was too many of them and that, in the absence of counter-balancing pictures, they pushed a one-sided POV. No-one said that some of them should not be used, but in layout in encyclopædic text one has to show balance, not agenda or overload in image use. For example, one could use just images of Clinton with Monica, but that would be seen as agendaising the page on Bill Clinton by implying visually that that was all his presidency was about. Similarly one could just show images of Adolf Hitler in evening suit and give a POV impression that made him a nice guy and played down his many many negative sides and his militarism. Again showing Chavez only in military uniform plays up his military experience while downplaying his civilian rule, showing Pinochet only in lounge suit plays down his military side. The image use with Saddam Hussein on wikipedia is a classic example of how to use images that convey different sides of the Iraqi dictator, showing Saddam the military man, Saddam the wannabe divine right ruler on his throne. Here the general feeling was that in the absence of counterbalancing images, the images Eloquence keeps hammering in create the impression that MT's life was all about meeting these people, when in fact it was only one small aspect. Layout can be POV every bit as text. In using a group of images like that, Erik knew full well that he was POVing the article to suit his own personal agenda, just as he did through use of loaded phrases, dodgy headlines and through trying to drown the article in a massive one-sided, poorly written, questionably sourced, criticism section, much of it focusing on issues that were of no relevance to MT herself (and the article is supposed to be about her!) and were simply part of his bash the bitch agenda. It is no wonder so many wikipedians dismissed Erik's loopy article as practically a classic example of how not to write an NPOV encyclopædic article. BTW sorry - I was trying to add in your correction to the article but it got lost in Erik's 'I'm gonna force my views on this article come what may revertions FearÉIREANN 21:51, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

More nonsense. The article shows both positive and negative aspects of MT's work clearly, both in text and pictures, and all you are trying to do is to hide the negative ones, just like you silently and sneakily tried to remove crucial elements of the criticisms such as the lack of separation between curable and incurable patients. The pictures convey fundamental, factual information about Teresa's relations to questionable world figures. All you have been doing ever since you started editing this article is trying to remove information you do not like, and you continue to do so, in violation of all established policies of Wikipedia. You should recuse yourself from editing this article, given your obvious pro-Catholic bias which prevents you from behaving in a rational, professional manner.—Eloquence 22:17, Nov 29, 2003 (UTC)
Don't be such a bigot. Almost everything you written on catholicism has been dismissed by neutrals on wikipedia as agenda-led and biased. Articles I have written on catholicism have been praised as fair and objective by everyone from RK to the agnostic 172, Zoe and others. I was the one who wrote a factually accurate article on clerical abuse on wikipedia that is now linked by a British abuse survivors' website. 4 newspaper articles I wrote criticising Roman Catholicism's treatment of gays, lesbians and the transgendered were quoted internationally in gay publications and have links on the web. I was the one who challenged one wikipedia traditionalist catholic's attacks on jews, gays, mormons and various protestant churches while you were writing potty catholic-bashing articles. And while you play at being critical of catholicism, I am the one who has been in articles publically critical of catholicism published in The Guardian, The Irish Times, The Times of London, the New York Post as well as in religious publications like the Church Gazette (anglican), the Protestant weekly and the Irish Catholic, not hiding behind a misleading nickname as posing as an expert on religious bigotry. So get down off your cross and stop playing God. You are just someone with a prejudice and the inability to be neutral. And the fact that you think that someone who is publicly critical of catholicism in over 100 newspaper and magazine articles, as well as in TV debates, has an "obvious pro-catholic bias" shows just how screwed up your view is and how little you really know about the topic. FearÉIREANN 22:39, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Not hiding behind a misleading nickname? So what is your real name, because it is not "James Duffy", as you have repeatedly explained on the mailing list. My real name has always been on my user page, and anyone can browse my list of publications on my homepage, which include a (not yet linked) article about Mother Teresa.—Eloquence 22:55, Nov 29, 2003 (UTC)
Like many others on wikipedia who work in the media/journalism/academia/politics I choose not to use my own name because I don't want people to deal with me on WP on the basis of who I am, given that some may immediately recognise my name if I used it here. I am here to contribute as part of a community, not to have a response of "so you are the person who wrote x, or appeared on y TV show" because that can create an illusion of hierarchy, that because I know such and such or appeared on such and such or wrote such and such I am somehow more important on wikipedia. I don't want to be treated that way, simply to put my expertise and knowledge to work to build up this wonderful project. FearÉIREANN 23:16, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)
That sounds nice, but it's kind of stupid to constantly refer to your alleged authority, when you are unwilling to back up those claims, making them sound like fiction, and it's even more stupid to accuse others, who have always used their real name, of "hiding behind misleading nicknames", when you even go so far to hide behind an invented "real" name. As usual, you are employing a double standard.—Eloquence 23:18, Nov 29, 2003 (UTC)
I think that jtdirl has no Pro catholic bias. (ill admit I might have a small pro-catholic bias). This was an edit war over your removal of the dispute marker, when obviously the article was disputed. Alexandros
Wrong. I have challenged everyone here on the talk page on Nov. 17 to point to parts of the article that are supposedly in dispute. Nobody did, so there is no dispute other than emotional "Oh, everyone loved Mother Teresa, how can you write so many bad things about her" crap. That's no dispute, that's just uninformed whining, and the place for it, if any, is the discussion page, not the article header.—Eloquence 22:26, Nov 29, 2003 (UTC)
I believe that this issue will not be resolved unitl disiplinary measures are taken against those who are abusing their sysop powers. Alexandros
Nice way of sidestepping the issue. I just see that JT has reverted a page protected by an impartial sysop. Do you think that disciplinary measures are warranted? --snoyes 22:11, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Sidestepping the issue? Im just addressing another issue. Just because a sysop is taking my side, it doesnt mean that I agree with everything he does. Eloquence AND Jtdirl BOTH edited the page whilst under protection. Alexandros 22:14, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)
If you take a closer look at the time I posted my comment you'll see that by that time only JT had acted against wikipedia policy. [addition: Unfortunately wikipedia is only detailed enough to show the minute of the edit, not the second. My comment was made one minute after Erik also violated policy, I had however not seen this.] Don't try and impart a bias on me that doesn't exist. And frankly, you are sidestepping the issue by replying that a different issue has to be solved first. --snoyes 22:21, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Please don't get the wrong impression from me. I dont mean to get into an argument with you about some trivial interpretation of a comment I made. I'm sorry if I gave you that impression. Alexandros 22:23, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I think it might be appropriate to include this quite ironic statement by Eloquence:

"However, sysops are not editors, and should not use their privileges to enforce their own views." --Eloquence

Alexandros

There is no irony here. I haven't "used my privileges to enforce my own views". Everyone, including regular users, can revert a page.—Eloquence
Your building up a straw man. Regular users cannot edit a page while it is protected. Alexandros
And I wouldn't have edited if Jtd had not done so.—Eloquence
I know you are more sophisticated than that. Your comment sounds like a toddler, "but mommy, he drank the vodka too" Alexandros
The proper analogy would be the use of force to prevent a hooligan from vandalizing a household.—Eloquence

I was unaware until one minute ago that it had been protected (I didn't do the revert from the page and have been away for a while). If I had been I wouldn't have reverted it. Unlike Eloquence I don't abuse my powers as a sysop. Nor to I highjack articles to push political agendas, cram articles with POV images, and threaten non-sysops with bans. Eloquence has repeatedly done these things in a manner which, if done on a professionally edited encyclopædia would earn him the instant sack. And his attempt at an article here if submitted to a professionally edited encyclopædia would have been binned on sight and someone who knew what they were talking about commissioned to produce a proper, NPOV encyclopædic article. FearÉIREANN 22:39, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

BTW I have been trying to insert the above text and another paragraph for ages but kept been caught in edit conflicts. It was one minute before I wrote the first attempt, not one minute before the time above. FearÉIREANN 22:52, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Actually, you were the one that hijacked this article the moment you noticed the criticism section in a desperate effort to preserve MT's image. It is correct that you did not "cram the article with images", primarily because your contributions consist almost entirely of deletions.—Eloquence 22:46, Nov 29, 2003 (UTC)

Another gross lie.Another gross lie. I went to the MT page because from reading its opening it struck me as heavily biased in favour of MT and not NPOV. Reading down, I found that one-third was grossly and blatently pro-MT, and two-thirds a hatchet job. Both were an embarrassment to anyone interested in professional encyclopædic standards. As to "preserving MT's image", that is your own dillusion. If I was trying to do that, I would have deleted all the criticism, little of which was anything remotely touching elequent. There is an elementary rule in encyclopædic biography entries; stick to the elementary facts. If interpretation, particularly secondary interpretation, outweighs the main text in size and detail then summarise and relocate. It is what professional editors of encyclopædia articles do for a living, and I have done it with a number of them, the most recent published in the last two months. The MT article devoted 70% to minute criticism. Whether it is praise or criticism is irrelevant, if it drowns the main body of text then it is shortened, edited and if warranted, the detail is moved to a new encyclopædia article on the topic. So I moved the grossly overlong criticism section to a linked article and began to work off -article on a shortened summary which would be pasted in. But of course that didn't happen because doing your 'I'm God here. No-one edits my text no matter how POV it is' you tried immediately to slam back in your grossly overlong, poorly edited, clumsely written and POV-laiden stuff and delete the criticism article even though it was directly linked to the MT article and freed from the constrained of biographic entries and their structured formulæ could explore the criticisms in far more detail and more thoroughly that could be done here. The mess there has been here has all been your doing; your refusal to follow NPOV, your determination to force an article where 70% of the article was a criticism section that even Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein don't get on wikipedia, your bullying of people, your ignoring of critical comments. You wanted the article to be a hatchet job and to hell with the consequences for wikipedia's reputation as an NPOV trustworthy sourcebook. This article cannot be a hatchet-job. This article cannot be a glorification. All it has to be is a balanced, well written, objective analysis of the pluses and minuses of MT, the differing views about her. 70% glorification or 70% demonisation is not NPOV and it is not on, whatever tantrums you throw in trying to force your agenda on the page. FearÉIREANN 23:36, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Someone who makes so many spelling mistakes in one comment, and who seems to be incapable of using paragraphs to structure it, should probably avoid criticizing other people's writing skills. When you tried to stow away the criticism section, everyone working on the article at the time protested and it took an edit war with several parties, all against you, to stop you from doing it. You then proceeded to hold a silly "POV vs. NPOV" vote, which everyone who expressed an opinion on it criticized as pointless and against the spirit of Wikipedia.
Your problem is that you don't understand 1) that Wikipedia articles are a constant work in progress, and if one aspect dominates the article, the solution is to write more about the other, not to remove it, 2) it is not Wikipedia's job to come up with rebuttals or counter-claims that just aren't there, and nor is it Wikipedia's role to remove criticisms which have not been accurately responded to. If you indeed have any experience editing traditional encyclopedia, then that seems to be part of your problem working with the Wikipedia community, a problem which started the moment you "set foot" on this site.—Eloquence 23:47, Nov 29, 2003 (UTC)

Your lack of understanding about how to write in an NPOV article is almost as astounding as your bullyboy determination to highjack this article by intimidating the likes of Alexandros and Pfortuny into agreeing to let you have your way. And I have no problem working with the Wikipedia community. Unlike you I have never as a sysop threatened anyone with banning. That seems to be a regular occurance with you. If you know so little about how to write text, how to edit articles and how to achieve neutrality maybe you should go off and stick to writing polemical diatribes on somewhere that does not believe in principles like NPOV, factual accuracy and objectivity. Or take a course in essay writing. FearÉIREANN 00:11, 30 Nov 2003 (UTC)

You're lying again, I have never threatened to ban anyone, I have threatened to report people's behavior.—Eloquence

That's not how those who were victims of your threats saw them. Another bit of Erik spinning of facts to suit himself, methinks. FearÉIREANN 00:25, 30 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Ungrateful Edit War

I was going to call this the "Thanskgiving Day Battle", but that seemed sacriligious.

I don't know what Eloquence is fighting with JTD and Alex about, but I counted over a dozen reverts in the last couple of days.

What /is/ it with you people? I take 5 days off, and you're at each other's throats? Stop acting like kids, and I'll unprotect the article. --Uncle Ed 15:55, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Hey! The edit war was over and things were settled down, now is not the time to protect the article. It was already protected once while you were away, then unprotected. Alexandros has given up on this article for good now. silsor 17:19, Dec 1, 2003 (UTC)
Done. --Uncle Ed 17:28, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)