Newly created Catholic Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, is accused of once being a friend of Francisco Franco, the former dictator of Spain, reports The Guardian.

Balaguer apparently never made a point of voicing any meaningful criticism of the fascist who was once supported by Nazi Germany. He also supplied Franco with ministers from amongst his own following.

Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer was the founder of Opus Dei, a controversial ultra-conservative sect within Catholicism, which has received approval and considerable encouragement from the current Pope.

Opus Dei has been described as “cult-like” by critics and some former members that say its methods are often harsh, manipulative and controlling.

European fascism of the 1930s was characterized by personality-driven regimes. First there was Italy’s Mussolini then Germany’s Hitler and ultimately Spain’s Franco. But Franco unlike his contemporaries, ruled long after the war ended, until his death by natural causes.

Fascism can easily be seen as “cult-like.”

Perhaps the authoritarianism and order tha Franco brought to Spain was not that unsettling to Balaguer, who after all created a seemingly authoritarian right-wing order of his own.


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