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Gilles Duceppe and Pat Martin: Still bigots, still creepy

New Democrat MP Pat Martin appearing on CBC with Father Fred Dolan of Opus Dei.
New Democrat MP Pat Martin appearing on CBC with Father Fred Dolan of Opus Dei.
CBC Power and Politics

Talk about a couple of politicians that give me the creeps. I don’t know why anyone would have anything to do with Gilles Duceppe or Pat Martin, to paraphrase Martin himself.

Duceppe, the Bloc Quebecois Leader started his own inquisition in Parliament last month naming a member of the Conservative national council and a former candidate as members of Opus Dei, the Catholic religious group that has more conspiracies surrounding it than Area 51. As people began talking about the issue of Opus Dei and “news” that a priest from the organization had taken part in a luncheon on Parliament Hill, Martin offered up to reporters that he found them to be “creepy.”

I shouldn’t be surprised about Duceppe, he and the rest of Quebec’s elite are waging a war against the Catholic Church. The war was sparked by Marc Oullet, the Cardinal Archbishop of Quebec City who shocked La Belle Province by saying that abortion was wrong. Now no one should be shocked that the Catholic Church opposes abortion, although in Quebec where some bishops appear mute and others have been less than fully Catholic for decades, perhaps this is news.

Duceppe denies there is anything remotely smacking of McCarthyism in his linking certain people to a group and implying sinister motives. So far he has refused to apologize for his statements in the House.

Pat Martin on the other hand has gone from putting his foot in his mouth over comments about Opus Dei to proving beyond a doubt that he’s a fool that speaks before he thinks. Just over a week ago the New Democrat MP was asked about the luncheon which Father Fred Dolan, the Vicar General of Opus Dei Canada attended and he said, “I think Opus Dei is creepy and, you know, you can’t account for some people’s taste but I can’t imagine why a Member of Parliament would invite them for a meeting on Parliament Hill. I certainly wouldn’t attend, you know, anything associated with them. I think they – they give me the creeps” He then went on to label the entire group as fundamentalists.

Now having met Father Dolan I can say that he’s far from creepy and certainly does not appear to be a fundamentalist. Like many journalists in Canada I met the priest that leads Opus Dei in this country during the brouhaha surrounding the release of The Da Vinci Code, a movie that set the religious group a the centre of a global conspiracy. During the lead up to the movie, Opus Dei opened themselves up to anyone that wanted to know more about the group; obviously Pat Martin would rather rely on stereotypes.

Still I have to give Martin credit for meeting Father Dolan on CBC’s Power and Politics show, but that for Martin, this is where he proved himself a fool. As he went on about how scary it was for Opus Dei to be allowed to speak on Parliament Hill and expressed his worry that this group might somehow impose its religious views on public policy, Martin stuck his foot in it.

“My whole political background is based on the Social Gospel,” says Martin. “Which means putting in place on earth the things that our faith aspires to. And perhaps that forms the foundation of most of our legislation too, is the Ten Commandments or whatever.”

Then right after saying that his own politics is shaped by faith, by the Social Gospel, which is a left-wing interpretation of Christianity, Martin says he’s worried about a right-wing group breaching the separation of church and state.

“When you do cross the line, from, to church and state,” says Martin, “I think that democracy suffers and there’s forces in play shaping social policy with undue influence, that’s what’s creepy about it to me.”

So there you have it, Pat Martin likes the Gospel if it has a left-wing slant, in fact it is the basis of his own politics, but if you have another view on Christianity, say one that opposes abortion, then you are an extremist and a creepy fundamentalist. Well after watching the last two weeks unfold I can tell you who I’ll brand a creepy fundamentalist and it isn’t Father Fred Dolan.

Brian Lilley is the Ottawa Bureau Chief for radio stations Newstalk 1010 in Toronto and CJAD 800 in Montreal. Follow Brian on Twitter to get the latest as it happens.

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  • Ron 4 years ago

    Duceppe can deny McCarthyism all he wants but a simple viewing of the kangaroo courts being conducted by Committees based on accusastion, innuendo, half-truths etc, proves him wrong. With this attack on religion, Duceppe, and Martin, prove once again that it isn't about freedom, justice, truth or any of those pretty words they throw around - it is about the imposition of their ideology to the exclusion of all others. Martin is the most dispicable, corrosive, hateful MP; his conduct is a disgrace to all Members. His actions at Committee are a disgrace to democracy and are exactly the type of behaviour witnessed during the McCarthy era in the U.S. when facts, evidence and truth were irrelevant. All that was needed for McCarthy to destroy an opponent was to lable them Communist and provide some tenuous link between the victim and a "Communist". Today, Opposition Parties use the same tactics of innuendo, accusation, unfounded charges and slim connections to destroy lives in their effort to

  • Jim Pook 4 years ago

    Pat Martin - the most disgusting public person on the planet. What a waste of skin.

  • potvin 4 years ago

    How do idiots like this get elected?

  • Wes 4 years ago

    In psychology we call this leveling. Most of us employ it on a personal level to some degree to feel OK by labeling ourselves superior to someone else in some way. I put you down (morally is best) to leverage myself up. Political operators like Martin use 'leveling' to leverage a consituency from the like minded. I will state as a fact that this kind of demagoguery is almost always instrumental in human atrocities and represents a cancer on the soul of any society. The cancer can be on the right side of the body politic, or the left, but a cancer it is just the same.

  • tom toe 4 years ago

    We do not like Duceppe or Martin in nl.

    We see nothing wrong with opus dei

  • Sylvain 4 years ago

    People in Quebec weren't shocked by Cardinal Ouellet saying he was against abortion.People were shocked by the fact he said he was against women getting abortions when they were raped!And there's nobody at war against the catholic religion here,nobody has given a s... in a long time!!They're irrelevant now...

  • mouth 4 years ago

    Where'd Christ say anything about abortion?

    He did say, though, "Blessed be the poor" and that the rich would have harder time getting into Heaven than a camel would in getting thru the eye of a needle.

    Game, set and match.

  • CJAD Sucks 4 years ago

    Sorry loser, we're a nation of laws.

  • Dianne Wood 4 years ago

    Good article Brian. There is no way that any members of Opus Dei could be classed as fundamentalists. They are right on centre, neither conservative nor liberal. I did think Pat Martin was brave for getting together with Father Dolan and maybe they will meet again.

  • Louise 4 years ago

    As with anything and anybody, both politicians need to know what they are commenting on before making their comments.If they actually did their research on Opus Dei, they would not have said what they said. At least I hope they wouldn't have. Perhaps this whole situation will eventually lead them to learn more about it.

  • Cristina 4 years ago

    Thanks for this great defense of truth!!

  • Anita 4 years ago

    Thanks Brian for your clear analysis of the situation. Pat Martin could learn so much about his faith and Opus Dei if he would take the time to have a sincere discussion with Father Fred Dolan. I hope he has the courage to do just that.

  • Ruth Anne 4 years ago

    Thanks so much Brian for bringing to the fore the true face of Mr.Duceppe in light of his comments against members of Opus Dei. It is so refreshing to read your political analysis!

  • Christen 4 years ago

    Thank you for your article Brian. I've also met Fr. Dolan and found him to be incredibly intelligent, sincere, and clearly in love with his faith ... characteristics that unfortunately Mr Martin and Mr Duceppe cannot claim for themselves.

  • Adelida 4 years ago

    Great article! Thanks for letting the truth be known about Opus Dei. The real Opus Dei isn't normally so newsworthy - just ordinary people trying to grow in virtues - you know, generosity, concern for others, honesty, etc. - pretty 'uninteresting' stuff for most people.

  • Cathy 4 years ago

    Thanks for bringing the truth to our attention. Obviously some people read fiction and don't get that it is make believe.

  • Clare 4 years ago

    Thank you for this article, Mr. Lilley. Too many people have too much to say about Opus Dei when they know nothing about it. They should inform themselves so that they can know whereof they speak.

  • mado 4 years ago

    Good article Brian. You researched your topic and gave it back to an audience whose intelligence should be to anaylsize for themselves the truths. Opus Dei and Catholic church are not saying anything new. Natural law--terminating life is wrong! Bettering oneself has been man's ambition since time began. Bettering himself is not just a financial matter,but the whole man--including his relationships with his God and neighbour. I appreciate facts--not radical, throw-backs of personal hangups. Duceppe & Martin could better use their time learning facts instead of acting like little boys trying to steal the attention of others by challenging what they have no idea about. Keep up the good work.

  • Lorena 4 years ago

    Well written article...thank you Mr. Lilley. In my opinion, Pat Martin scored points for sitting down face to face with Father Dolan. I think that took courage. And I think he was sincere, however foolish he might have sounded. Clearly, he is missing some key facts regarding Opus Dei. But no need for harsh judgment on either part.

  • jim 4 years ago

    Thanks, Mr. Lilley, for some understanding and common sense when it comes to matters of religion - Catholic or otherwise - in the public sphere. You point out a double-standard that needs to be exposed and questioned. Any and all beliefs are allowed to inform public policy including religious ones like Mr Martin's "social gospel". However, any beliefs that challenge the secular individualism are immediately disqualified for having breached the wall between church and state. Who gave Mr MArtin control of this wall?

  • Maria 4 years ago

    Thank you Mr. Lilley for telling it like it is!

  • Cathy 4 years ago

    Thanks for bringing the truth to our attention. Obviously some people read fiction and don't get that it is make believe.

  • Cathy 4 years ago

    Thanks for bringing the truth to our attention. Obviously some people read fiction and don't get that it is make believe.

  • Jo K 4 years ago

    Thanks, Mr Lilley, for a good analysis who really are the scary ones.

  • Leticia 4 years ago

    Mr.Lilley, thank you so much for defending Opus Dei. What a great article to read. Sometimes people do talk so much about the work,in reality they don't know anything about Opus Dei.

  • Barbara P. 4 years ago

    Thank you for this great article, Mr. Lilley, and for telling it like it is.

  • Beth 4 years ago

    It was a good opportunity for Mr. Martin to meet Fr. Dolan and I know deep inside him, he has the desire to learn more about Opus Dei. It would be nice for Mr. Martin to meet( privately ) if you may Fr. Dolan to answer his questions about what makes Opus Dei Creepy.

  • Susan Trites 4 years ago

    Good of you to have written this article Brian. The "truth" never gets old or worn-out! I did wonder if Mr. Martin would take-up Father Dolan's invitation to meet. Kudos to Mr. Martin to have met with Father Dolan. Let's pray and hope that it will be the start of a formative friendship.

  • Anne Smyth 4 years ago

    Thank you Brian Lilley. It is bizarre to hear politicians, whom we hope to be intelligent, regardless of their party, being so blatantly ignorant as Pat Martin and Gilles Duceppe regarding the position of Opus Dei. Obviously they have not been interested enough to look into something they consider "creepy" and are basing their opinion not on fact but on prejudice. I am not a member of Opus Dei but I admire them enormously. Thank you again for a wonderful article. Perhaps the publicity will encourage Martin and Duceppe to amend their erroneous judgment and educate themselves as to the high regard everyone holds towards Opus Dei and why.

  • Lori 4 years ago

    Thanks for a great article Brian. It is refreshing to know that some journalists like yourself can see the truth unlike so many narrow minded ones who refuse to face the facts about what Opus Dei really is. Hopefully your article will make some skeptics think twice when they say that Opus Dei is a "cult".

  • Mara 4 years ago

    Thank you Mr. Lilley for reminding average Canadians one of the facts of political life: Politicians have their own agenda and will take any opportunity, and do whatever it takes, to attain their ambitions.
    They may think that by Criticizing the church or Opus Dei they will gain support. What it is inconceivable is their lack of cleverness to do proper research on the same topic they criticize.

  • Diane 4 years ago

    Thanks for a great article. Opus Dei is an amazing organization. To find out the truth about it go to

  • Steve 4 years ago

    Welcome to the Creep Zone, Mr. Martin!

    He states, “My whole political background is based on the Social Gospel...Which means putting in place on earth the things that our faith aspires to. And perhaps that forms the foundation of most of our legislation too, is the Ten Commandments or whatever.” implying that his Catholic background (as he mentioned in the interview) is influencing him today.

    He convicts himself of being a creep by going on to add, “When you do cross the line, from, to church and state,...I think that democracy suffers and there’s forces in play shaping social policy with undue influence, that’s what’s creepy about it to me.” He has crossed the "church and state" line to enter the Creep Zone.

    Well done Mr. Martin!

  • Krista 4 years ago

    Thanks for the great article - really points out the inconsistencies in Mr. Martin's way of thinking.