A Conservative candidate running in a Montreal South Shore riding is a past spokeswoman and current member of Opus Dei, a secretive Catholic organization.
Nicole Charbonneau Barron, who is running for the Tories in Saint-Bruno-Saint-Hubert, is an active member of the ultra-orthodox society.
The Conservatives were not aware of her affiliation when she was chosen as a candidate, the party’s Quebec campaign spokesman Jean-Luc Benoît told newspaper La Presse.
Barron granted media interviews in 2006 as Opus Dei’s Montreal spokeswoman, at a time when a controversial film inspired by Dan Brown’s worldwide bestseller The Da Vinci Code was released in movie theatres.
The South Shore resident told francophone TV network LCN the movie was a caricature of the Catholic institution, and only a portion of Opus Dei members practised self-mortification, which features prominently in the film.
Risking eternal damnation for indulging the flesh, Gilles Duceppe nearly creams his chinos at the news:
Referring to the discovery that Nicole Charbonneau Barron, the Conservative candidate for St. Bruno-St. Hubert, a riding on Montreal’s south shore, was the former spokesperson for the group, Duceppe called Opus Dei a “secret society” with a “narrow ideology” that doesn’t fit with a modern Quebec.
“Those people are against a lot of things that are generally accepted in Quebec,” he told reporters in Quebec City. “That candidate said very openly that self-whipping is a sacrifice they have to make. I question such practices.”
Hmm. Not to defend everybody’s favourite shadowy ultra-orthodox papal sect, but, um, what’s wrong with a little self (or *ahem* mutual) whipping every now and then (between consenting adults, of course)? One hopes the Quebec BDSM community respectfully requests further clarification from M. Duceppe.