Talk:Josemaría Escrivá

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Why is this tagged as POV?[edit]

The article currently carries a POV tag ("disputed neutrality"), but the editor who added it has not explained in this talk page why that is. I've edited this article extensively, mostly to add info. about criticisms of Escrivá, which was largely absent in the article as I first found it. I think that the article in its current form contains thorough presentations of both the pro- and anti-Escrivá points of view. The article can still use many improvements in terms of readability, and some citations need to be added --especially for quotes supportive of Escrivá-- but there seems to me to be no reason to regard it as non-neutral or unbalanced. Unless someone argues to the contrary here within a few days, I will remove the POV tag. - Eb.hoop (talk) 21:08, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and removed the POV tag. Please don't add it again without discussing the issue in this talk page first. - Eb.hoop (talk) 20:50, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

The text cites clear and apparently undisputed evidence that he supported both the Franco and the Pinochet regimes, but in the intro and the section titles this is treated as mere allegations. Looks like POV to me, or at least inconsistent.-- (talk) 19:01, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

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Lack of Organization[edit]

Although there is a plethora of information, there is a lot of redundancy and poor organization of this article. A streamlining and deletion of redundancies must be taken. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Boknows232 (talkcontribs) 09:39, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Fair use candidate from Commons: File:Opus Dein perustaja.JPG[edit]

The file File:Opus Dein perustaja.JPG, used on this page, has been deleted from Wikimedia Commons and re-uploaded at File:Opus Dein perustaja.JPG. It should be reviewed to determine if it is compliant with this project's non-free content policy, or else should be deleted and removed from this page. Commons fair use upload bot (talk) 20:47, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Undue weight to criticisms in preview[edit]

A preview is made for giving a quick "preview" of a subject. It would seem to me that adding references to particular criticisms (especially if they are quite unrelated with the subject, such as isolated claims about Escrivá and Pinochet) are not appropriate for this section. It is true that this page has to have a reference to criticisms, but I think that for the preview it would be enough to have a single sentence referring to them and to those who say that that is just a black legend. Elchupaya (talk) 20:37, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

I disagree. One of the most notable aspects of Escrivá's life is the intense and longstanding controversy surrounding Opus Dei's alleged political involvements. A discussion of it is probably one of the things that the average reader would be most likely to expect from a Wikipedia biography of Escrivá. I personally have read fairly extensively on the subject and it seems to me that while the allegations about involvement with Pinochet tend to be rather thin when it comes to specifics and supporting evidence, the issue of Opus Dei's role within the Franco regime in Spain is extremely important and abundantly documented. It seems quite proper to me to mention this controversy in the article's lead (or "preview", as you call it), without giving more weight to either the accusation or the defense, as it seems to me that the text does right now. - Eb.hoop (talk) 21:47, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
You think that the most notable aspect of his life is the controversy (which has a whole paragraph and part of the paragraph referring to his canonization); I think that what is the most important aspect in his life is the creation of Opus Dei (which receives only a single sentence in the article's lead); others may think that the most important issue is his work as a spiritual writer (which also receives a single line). The issue is that there is undue weight in the article's lead. Besides, if one starts writing a whole paragraph for what one considers to be the most important part, the article's lead would end up being as long as the article. A single sentence refering to controversy should be enough, since the issue is developed in the article.--Elchupaya (talk) 22:00, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Dear Elchupaya: I did not say that the political controversy was the most notable of Escrivá's life. I wrote "one of the most notable", meaning notable enough to be mentioned in the article's lead. I think that this is not just my opinion, since most of what has been written about Escrivá (excluding material published by Opus Dei itself) has revolved around issues concerning the political and economic influence of Opus Dei, especially in Spain and Latin America, and it is quite proper for Wikipedia to reflect that. Also, it is not true that the entire second paragraph is dedicated to this issue. There's a single sentence in the entire lead that concerns the debate over political involvement, and if anything the rest of the paragraph gives more weight to Escrivá's defenders. The third paragraph mentions a controversy surrounding his canonization, without giving specifics. (That controversy was partly about political involvements, but mostly about Escrivá's personal character and his governance of Opus Dei, as the body of the article explains.) - Eb.hoop (talk) 23:05, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
It may be notable, but it doesn't require a paragraph. Have you tried googling Josemaría Escrivá? The political criticisms don't appear among the first results. It may be different if you google Opus Dei, but that has its own Wikipedia page. This is why I think that the length of this description gives an undue weight to this point. I just checked the Spanish, French and German versions, and their "lead" is much shorter and does not give a whole paragraph on the matter. By the way, do you know who decides these discussions?--Elchupaya (talk) 13:01, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Dear Elchupaya: I don't think that we should be guided by what is done in the articles in other languages. When I first began to edit this, there was virtually no mention of any criticism of Escrivá or of Opus Dei, and several people had complained about this in the talk page. Though I can't, of course, speak with any certainty, it does seem possible that the editors most likely to invest a significant amount of time and effort on this would be those sympathetic to Opus Dei, and therefore rather less likely to give coverage to the opposing point of view. It's clear that the references given in the Spanish article, for example, come almost exclusively from within Opus Dei, except for the book by John Allen, Jr. (which has been widely characterized as sympathetic to the organization). I'm also not happy with the neutrality of the English article on Opus Dei, which should incorporate some of the critical material that appears in this article. I will eventually try to address that, time permitting, but that is an independent issue. - Eb.hoop (talk) 16:24, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Just weighing in... my gut reaction to the lead is that the criticism is not undue weight. Josemaria and Opus Dei certainly have garnered plenty of criticism, and what's here is sourced. Moreover, it is balanced by positive reactions to him, and another source which questions the veracity of the allegations against him/Opus Dei. I wouldn't suggest cutting down the lead. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 04:59, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Nobody is arguing that he doesn't give rise to controversies, but the details given when referring to this criticism is undue. For instance, this reference to Pinochet is appalling, since Escrivá never met him or made any public comments about him (otherwise, this would be highly commented on, but there is nothing like this). I don't know which was his particular opinion regarding Pinochet, but there is no hard evidence as for making this comment on the lead. Some other things that are said in this article have a very week basis. For instance, saying that he was pro-Hitler, based on the assertions of one person, who simply says that Escrivá would have said that Hitler killed 4 millions instead of 6 millions, is simply defamation. Wikipedia can't be a loudspeaker for weak accusations. At least, the reference to Pinochet should not be there. I'll erase it. --Elchupaya (talk) 19:10, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Picture of Antonio Fontán[edit]

Someone insists on adding a picture of Antonio Fontán to the section about allegations of support for right-wing dictatorial regimes, presumably because towards the end of the Franco regime Fontán opposed Franco over issues of freedom of the press, and was later the first president of the democratic Senate, so that his name is often invoked by defenders of Opus Dei's lack of institutional political affiliation. It seems to me rather strange to have a picture of Fontán in the biography of Escrivá. It is not really the case (as claimed in the edit summary) that the section on political controversy is mostly about Opus Dei members. It is primarily about Escriva's own involvements and actions, as it should be given the article's subject matter. Fontán is already mentioned in the text, and highlighting him with a picture seems to me hard to justify. If the intention is not simply to defend Escrivá from allegations of unsavory political involvements (which would violate Wikipedia's policies on neutrality), a picture of any of the other people mentioned in that section would be at least equally justified. Why not Luis Carrero Blanco or Alberto Ullastres? - Eb.hoop (talk) 05:30, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Politics of Calvo and Fontán[edit]

Elchupaya took out the characterization of Rafael Calvo Serer and Antonio Fontán as monarchists, arguing that the same could be said, unenlighteningly, about Tony Blair or David Cameron. That last part is definitely not true in the Spanish context of the time. Calvo Serer started out as a very conservative Catholic and supporter of Franco's nationalist movement. He came into conflict with Franco only in the late 1960s and early 1970s, towards the end of Franco's rule, over the fact that Franco had declared Spain to be a monarchy but had refused to allow a king to be crowned. (The reason for that is complicated. It was partly because the Carlists, who had supported Franco during the Spanish Civil War wanted a different king from the mainstream Borbonists, and also because Franco didn't want to relinquish power and feared that the mainstream heir to the throne, Juan de Borbón, might be too liberal.)

Antonio Fontán was also a monarchist, though a more liberal one than Calvo Serer. One of Escrivá's aims seems to have been to have Opus Dei play a major role in the education of prince Juan Carlos (Juan's son), who was expected to be crowned after Franco died or relinquished power (as was in fact the case). Fontán did become close to Juan Carlos, who even made him a marquess.

All of this is important because apologists of Opus Dei make much of the fact that Calvo and Fontán were persecuted by Franco, which is supposed to refute the idea that Opus Dei in Spain had a definite political affiliation. But their opposition to Franco developed very late, towards the end of Franco's rule, when a great many people realized that the dictatorship was coming to an end and that some kind of transition was imminent. The monarchist position of Calvo and Fontán was not inconsistent with the general trend of political involvement by Opus Dei members and by Escrivá himself. We don't know of any prominent Opus Dei members who opposed Franco as socialists, or even as republicans. - Eb.hoop (talk) 17:55, 19 March 2013 (UTC)