what if for the 25me anniversary of their respective deaths, which occurred a week apart in 1997, Lady Di and mother Teresa decided to record an episode of the program The other noon at the next table, what would they talk about? I allowed myself to imagine their conversation.
Posted at 6:00 am
— Hello, Diana, thank you for agreeing to meet me on a cloud just above Skopje, the city where I was born. It is not as elegant as Clarence House or Dodi al-Fayed’s villa in Saint-Tropez.
Diana laughs silently.
“The pleasure is mine, dear Mother Teresa. You know that your path has greatly illuminated mine. Meeting you in Calcutta when I was in the midst of marital turmoil allowed me to ease my pain. After visiting her works in Calcutta and the Bronx, I redoubled my efforts to support causes that were dear to my heart.
We were unlikely allies, the two of us, Diana. While I received lepers and AIDS patients in my hospices, you worked to fight prejudice by taking them by the hand. Few celebrities at the time had that courage. I think he earned you a “ticket to heaven.”
“Ummm, funny you mention tickets to heaven, Mother Teresa. Since your death, the approach of your missionaries has been repeatedly criticized in some of your establishments that are true places of death. Volunteers who worked there reported that you and members of your congregation baptized the dying, unbeknownst to them, most of the time, after asking them if they just wanted a ticket to heaven.
— They criticized me a lot after my death. Because of this practice, but also because I accepted donations from dubious sources. In addition, we denounce the opaque management of the money they gave me for the poor. I have also been criticized for my ultra-conservative views on abortion and divorce. But despite these criticisms, the congregation I founded in 1950, the Missionaries of Charity, is doing well today. There are more than 5,000 nuns in its ranks, almost 1,200 more than when I died in 1997. My daughters work in hundreds of establishments around the world with the “poorest of the poor”. It is my former secretary, Sister Joseph Michael, born in Kerala in India, who has just taken the reins of all this. I am very happy about that. She will no doubt help the congregation confront Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government, suspected as the plague of Christian missionaries in her country.
“You know, Mother Teresa, I’m not going to throw the first stone at you. I have also been criticized a lot. First because I dared to speak publicly about my private life and Charles’ betrayal, breaking a golden rule of the royal family, but also because of my love-hate relationship with the media. They say I used them one day and ran away from them the next. However, when I think about it, that’s not what I remember from my time on earth. Above all, I see my two sons, William and Harry, each following their own path. Harry, in turn, defies his grandmother and the rules of the monarchy. Go Harry! And I see that the causes that were close to our hearts, yours and mine, have continued to resonate.
“You’re right Diane. The AIDS epidemic, which both worried us so much in our lives, no longer has the same face. In the year of our disappearance, 2.3 million people died worldwide from this disease. Today, there are still so many HIV carriers in the world, but the disease kills 75% fewer people. Oh! Science has performed miracles there.
– Well said. And it is true that poverty has been in steady decline since our departure. In 1997, nearly two billion people on the planet lived in extreme poverty, on less than $1.90 a day. It was almost 35% of the world population and now, 25 years later, it is 9% of the planet’s inhabitants who find themselves in this situation. It’s still amazing, isn’t it?
— Yes, above all because it is in particular the progress of India, the country where I have lived almost all my life, which explains this rebound. From India and neighboring China. That said, if I were still on earth, I’d have a lot of work left. After all, one in two of God’s children lives on less than $5 a day. And inequalities have only widened.
– It’s true, it’s quite heartbreaking, but let’s say I have to be careful when I talk about inequalities. Après tout, je suis née de la cuisse de Jupiter et j’ai vécu sur l’Olympe des privileges, contrairement à vous, qui êtes née dans une famille bien nantie de l’Empire ottoman, mais qui avez choisi de vivre le plus simply of the world.
— I think that today some will reproach me for my lack of environmental awareness. Let’s just say I’ve flown many planes in my life.
An angel passes.
“Tell me, Diana, were you surprised by the enormous wave of sympathy that washed over you after your death?
– Surprise ? Stunned would be the correct word. From being unloved in my marriage and my in-laws, I became the favorite of billions in death. They made me an icon, a kind of lay saint. So much so that my death overshadowed yours.
– Oh ! Diana, I’m not complaining. I was beatified and canonized by the Catholic Church faster than any other saint in history. It also woke up my staunchest critics.
– Yes, you and I are well placed to see that a halo is as heavy as a crown!
#Death #Lady #Mother #Teresa #saints #table