Talk:Opus Dei and politics

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I have written an introduction summarizing the content of this page and I have renewed the link in the main page -as it was wrong and did not send anywhere. --Uncertain 17:06, 4 October 2005 (UTC)


I reverted Lafem's reversion because it was not explained enough. He, as anyone else in Wikipedia, should discuss his insights before he changes anything in a topic as controversial as this one. Most of history schoolbooks in Spain, both in the highschool and in the university, explain the strong relationships Opus Dei had with the Franco's dictatorship. This is not fair to dismiss it saying it is "new research". Maybe OD does not want to have such an involvement with any government now. But this is part of its history which cannot deny. Which cannot hide. --Uncertain 20:15, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Thank you, Uncertain, and welcome to Wikipedia! I am happy that you explain your intervention. I am sorry I felt I had to revert your contribution because it is a policy in Wikipedia that contributions without attributions, i.e. seemingly original research cannot be allowed in the encyclopedia: Wikipedia:No Original Research Many other Wikipedians are on the lookout for such contributions as has been shown in other articles and in the Opus Dei article where non-attributed interventions were routinely removed until the contributor gives references.
I am not going to revert your contribution but I will await a few days, let's say 3 days, to wait for references, books or titles that you are using for your contribution.
I would also like to disagree that many history books connect Opus Dei with Franco. John Allen who wrote the latest book on Opus Dei confirms the political freedom of Opus Dei members and what Opus Dei spokespersons have been saying: "Opus Dei is filed under F for Franco," concedes Jack Valero, the organisation's spokesman in Britain."Some members worked in Franco's Spain, became ministers of his. But Opus Dei people are free to do whatever they wish politically. Other members were against Franco." He cites the dissident Rafael Calvo Serer, who was driven into exile in the early 70s and saw the newspaper he published closed by the government. Allen confirms that by the latter stages of the Franco era, Opus Dei in Spain was divided "50/50" over the regime. [1] There are also a number of books which confirm this. Books by Crozier, Preston and of course, Berglar, a member. The first two are not.
So your contribution could be said to be not Wikipedia:NPOV (neutral point of view) and even not accurate, non-verifiable: "However, Opus Dei was not only linked but also tightly interwoven with the power structures of the Francoist dictatorship soon after the Spanish Civil War, although its stronger involvement in the government came in the late 1950s. Spanish history textbooks agree that the Opus Dei had a strong influence in the regime."
I will gladly collaborate with you in a scholarly way on this one, and based on the policies of this encyclopedia. While I await your references, I have placed a tag on neutrality and factual accuracy. A ver si podemos colaborar bien. Muchas gracias. Un saludo. Lafem 03:47, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
Dear Lafem, I find that you has arrogated yourself an authority you have not: to impose deadlines. You claim my editing is NPOV and "original research". I can claim that your intervention is vandalism. Intellectual vandalism, if you prefer.
I will give you my answer in less than three days, although I am not in my ow university and it is very difficult to me to take some time to make bibliographical investigation--that at home would be very easy. So, please, Lafem, do not press me. You are not the landlord of this page.
Let me explain my will and my concern with this article: as I will explain later, when I have time, I want to separate allegations and implicit accusations in the actual article of the Opus Dei being related with today's political involvement. I think this article should focus on historical well proven facts. It is proven enoguh that Opus Dei HAD strong links with the Franco's dictadorship. The point is to separate individual involvement of some member or from organizational or ideological involvement of the Opus itself, if it is posible.
My will, when I started editing the article with good faith and little of Wikiskills, was to highlight that even if it is proven that Opus Dei, as an organisation, had some links with Francoism in the past, it does not mean that it is now involved with neo-fascism, conservatism or any other -ism. Or that indivisual involvement of members does not mean that this is the policy of the organization--althought this involvement have implied direct advantages to the organization, perhaps unwanted. Those are different issues.
Conversely, if it is proven beyond any doubt that Opus Dei has no current political involvements or that it tried to avoid them in the past, it does not mean that it did not had.
This is what I feel it lacks in the article, that is much to biased to accusation of surrent involvement and veiled denyings of past facts.
I would like to put all these concerns in the main discussion, because this one is hidden--to the deep sinful happiness of Opus Dei hard line supporters. Majorities cannot deny truth.
Finally, I will plea for interventions in the main discussions about the current state of the Opus Dei article's section "Freedom and pluralism vs. far-right politics": I think this is the most neglected part of the article and it is, to me, extremely biased. However, I am not going to give you three days before I put the sign of "Accuracy dispute". See you around. -- 17:57, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Removed disputed sign[edit]

I removed the disputed sign. I think the solution to this problem is easy. I just moved Uncertain's contributions on Franco to the Franco section and kept his excellent introduction. And then I added what should be added to make this piece neutral: the other side. Please keep the following guideline in mind and hopefully there won't be any further problems: Wikipedia:Wikiquette ;-) Rabadur 08:48, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

I accept your edition, Rabadur, although it removes from the introduction the fact that prominent members of the Opus Dei were within higher ranks of the government before it began to change, in the late 50s. I'll try to explain it (adding the references, of course!) whithin the body of the article.
Moreover, it should be highlighted that, although the Opus Dei never explicitly opposed the dictatorship's ideology or crimes, its action in government helped to open Spanish politics of this time and to modernise the economy--and as a result it helpd to develop the country after fifteen years of stagnation. I'll add this later on. --Uncertain 10:05, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

A (necessarily short) bibliography--after Lafem's suggestion[edit]

Some of the books that cite Opus Dei's involvement in Franco's politics. Most of them portray OD as a secretive organization deeply involved in francoism from its very beggining--One of the so-called "families" of the Regime's "Movement". On the positive side, most of them portray OD ministers after 1956 as some of the builders of economic development. Most of those books have been written for prominent international scholars [Preston, Payne, carr, etc.] or have been published by well-known international presses or universitites [Longman, Prentice-Hall, HarperCollins, etc.]. I have found both old and new prints. I have just added one from an Spanish printing house, one of the largest and more reputable [Planeta]. I hope this will be usefull for all the students of Spain, Francoism, Fascism, and Opus Dei. --Uncertain 18:53, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Arango, E. Ramón. 1995 (1985). Spain. Democracy Regained (Second Edition). Boulder, CO: Westview.
Carr, Raymond, and Juan Pablo Fusi. 1991 (1979). Spain: Dictatorship to democracy. London: Routledge.
De Blaye, Edouard. 1976 (1974). Franco and the Politics of Spain. Middlessex: Penguin. [original title Franco ou la monarchie sans roi, Editions Stock]
Ellwood, Sheelagh. 1994. Franco. Harlow, UK: Longman.
Garriga, Ramón. 1977. El Cardenal Segura y el Nacional-Catolicismo. Barcelona: Planeta.
Graham, Robert. 1984. Spain. Change of a Nation. London: Michael Joseph.
Gunther. Richard. 1980. Public Policy in a No-Party State. Spanish Planning and Budgeting in the Twilight of the Franquist Era. Berkeley: University of California.
Herr, Richard. 1971. Spain. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Hills, George. 1970. Spain. London:
Payne, Stanley G. 1999. Fascism in Spain. 1923-1977. Madison, WI: Wisconsin University.
Preston, Paul. 1990. The Politics of Revenge. Fascism and the Military in Twentieth-Century Spain. London. Unwin Hyman.
Preston, Paul. 1993. Franco. A Biography. London: HarperCollins. --Uncertain 18:53, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Some evidence...[edit]

...on the idea that Historians of Spanish twentieth century agree that Opus Dei was part of thre regime, although a minority within it.

In his history of Francoism, Franco, Preston writes very balancedly (1993:669):
"The arrival of the technocrats has been interpreted variously as a planned take-over by Opus Dei and a clever move by Franco to 'fill vacant seats in the latest round of musical chairs' [he quotes Ynfante's Santa mafia]. In fact, the arrival of the technocrats was neither sinister nor cunning but rather a piecemeal and pragmatic response to a specific set of problems. By the beggining of 1957, the regime faced political and economic bankrupcy. Franco and Carrero Blanco were looking for new blood and fresh ideas. To be acceptable, new men had to come from within the Movimiento, be catholic, accepted the idea of an eventual return to the monarchy and be, in Francoist terms, apolitical. López Rodó, Navarro Rubio and Ullastres [members of OD] were ideal. López Rodó was the nominee of Carrero Blanco. [He quotes López Rodó's Memories]. The dynamic Navarro Rubio was the Caudillo's choice. Franco had known him since 1949. He was a Procurador en Cortes for the Sindicatos and had been highly recommended by the outgoing Minister of Agriculture, Rafael Cavestany. Preston quotes Navarro Rubio's memories]. Both López Rodó and Navarro Rubio suggested Ullastres. [López Rodó's memories]. Without being a monolitic unit, López Rodó, Navarro Rubio and Ullastres worked together as a team, despite occasional frictions, to push for the administrative and economic modernization of the regime". --Uncertain 10:19, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Obviously biased[edit]

This page has yet to be unified & his obviously biased. It is undeniable that Catholic Church and, of course, Opus Dei which is widely considered (ask catholics people !) as a right-wing organization inside the Church (opposed to the Second Vatican Council), supported Franco. I have difficulties to understand why a supporter of Opus Dei would even think to deny this, since mainstream Church wouldn't even think in such attempt of Historical revisionism. I wonder why a conservative movement would try to deny its link to conservative Franco's Spain? Is someone here trying to insinuate Opus Dei supported Republicans during Spanish Civil War ??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kaliz (talkcontribs) 02:48, 19 November 2005

Good point, Kaliz. I understand your point. In fact I proposed something similar in the talk page of the main article. I quote my own proposal:

an expert --Allen-- states that Opus Dei members (sociologically speaking and not institutionally speaking) acted towards Franco as Spanish Catholics would. Sociologically at the beginning of Franco's regime, they hailed him as a savior who liberated them from communism and anarchism; this attitude evolve through time and in the end, like most Catholics, they were 50-50 for Franco. And generally at present many Opus Dei members are politically conservative.

With what you have written here, I will now post this specific paragraph.

We are about to wrap up a long discussion on specific issues related to Franco and Opus Dei. We had to analyze the credentials of the experts.

I also saw the new category on Christianity and controversy and the Books critical of Christianity which is one of its sub-categories. The one book there is "Fascists in Christian Clothing : The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" by Richard Weisman. I suppose you placed all these. I'm not sure if what you wrote here is based on that book. You know that Wikipedia policy states that:

If we are to represent the dispute fairly, we should present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties. From Jimbo Wales, September 2003, on the mailing
  • If a viewpoint is in the majority, then it should be easy to substantiate it with reference to commonly accepted reference texts;
  • If a viewpoint is held by a significant minority, then it should be easy to name prominent adherents;

So may ask the credentials of Richard Weisman (if he is your basis for your contributions); or are there other experts you want to put forward. Thanks. Thomas S. Major 05:46, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

I edited out all original research and non-factual statements. Please keep in mind that facts in Wikipedia are facts of attribution.
Wikipedia itself does not analyze. It reports. The more credible the expert the more space should be given to him. Lafem 04:17, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

What a mess![edit]

This article is a mess guys! So much repetition and then contradiction, sometimes within a single paragraph. The article needs a major clean-up! - 15:14, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Agree This article is a work of apologetics, not of history. It doesn't even attempt to give two sides of the story. There are also massive inconsistencies in it. The fact that it seems some words to avoid were removed from it doesn't make it any more balanced if the "wrong" side of the argument is either omitted or misrepresented. Jaimehy (talk) 16:30, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

To Jaimehy: Take a look before you leap. You have to take a look at the the messy version was describing here when he wrote his comment April 14. That has been fixed since I made these edits. Your comments are not on the same page as his comments. Rabadur (talk) 08:28, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
The page is neutral and historical enough. It does have two sides of the story: criticism and response. Arturo Cruz (talk) 08:59, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

This article...[edit]

... seems more aimed at giving extra credibility to the theories denying Opus Dei's ultraconservatism than to paying attention to the facts proper. There is a gap between academics might say and the truth, and this gap is given by the fact that the few "non-Fascist" Opus representatives who are given credit in this article (Fontán among them) actually supported the Civil War in the first place, even if they delved into political subtleties later on while trying to pass for democrats. The gap is also given by the fact that someone with an excellent academic record and a proficient performance in his job (be it journalism in the case of Fontán, architecture in the case of Miguel Fisac or law in the case of López Rodó) is by no means representative of the vast majority of Opus members.

It only takes a visit with a hidden camera to an Opus-run elementary school, to see what all the students have to say on feminism, homosexuality, democracy or immigration.

Synecdoche is a very ugly thing to bring into such a debate. Saying that Opus was not formed by people who despised culture, progress and at times even intelligence, only because there sporadically were intelligent or educated members among them, is as false and disingenuous, and perhaps as stupid, as saying that ALL Nazis were as intelligent and creative as Josef Goebbels.

Even a fool could understand that.

Walter Sobchak0 (talk) 13:46, 4 April 2009 (UTC)