In a disgraceful editorial today, the Globe and Mail slanders Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe for alleged religious intolerance. Duceppe had revealed that the Tory candidate running in St. Hubert-St. Lambert, Nicole Charbonneau Barron, was a member of the Catholic Opus Dei sect, an odious extreme-right group that has historically been linked to bloody autocracies such as that of Spain's Francisco Franco.
The editorialist disingenuously presents Opus Dei as merely an orthodox, somewhat conservative Catholic lay organization. "[T]here is nothing sinister about Opus Dei," the Globe avers, lauding its "simple if profound message that work and daily life are occasions in which we can grow closer to God."
That's a simply breathtaking bit of chicanery. In fact, Opus Dei is a classic cult, strictly controlling its members, who practice self-flagellation and other bizarre forms of mortification. It was founded by Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, a supporter of Franco and Hitler, and a Holocaust revisionist. Once Franco had won the Spanish Civil War with Nazi help, and set about adding 50,000 more political executions to his bloody score,* Escrivá sent him a fawning letter congratulating him on his merging of church and state in Spain. Opus Dei members went on to hold several cabinet posts under the Franco regime.
More recently, Opus Dei has been heavily involved in several murderous Latin American dictatorships, for example those of Pinochet (Chile) and Fujimori (Peru). Indeed, a 1966 coup in Argentina was led by Gen. Juan Carlos Ongania, an Opus Dei member who proceeded to impose a corporatist (fascist) regime upon that country until he was overthrown in 1970.
"Mr. Duceppe should be ashamed of himself," the Globe concludes. For what? Exposing a Tory candidate's membership in a far-right, even philofascist organization? Should the public be prevented from learning about those who are seeking its support on election day? The shame in this case belongs entirely to the Globe, Canada's so-called "national newspaper," which apparently prefers smearing a party leader to defending the voters' right to know.
*Even Himmler, according to Paul Preston in his biography of Franco [p.392], was appalled by Franco's brutality.