New edition of Luis Lucia’s Psalter of My Hours casts light on Father Marcial Maciel’s appropriated version
Editor’s note on the Photo above:
taken at the Legion’s first house in Ireland, Bundrowes House, Bundoran, Co. Donegal, 1960-61; it features some founders and visitors: Theology student James/Santiago Coindreau LC, recruiter; recently ordained Fr. Neftali Sanchez LC confessor, Fr. Marcial Maciel founder, Bro Pearse Allen original Irish candidate dressed as novice, Bro. James Whiston original Irish candidate dressed as novice, and Fr. Alfonso Samaniego LC, prominent Legionary at that time -who was later demoted and ostracized by Maciel after questioning him in public.
Editor’s note on Article:
J. Paul Lennon published a sensible literary critique of Fr. Maciel’s Psalter decades ago, before the plagiarism was known publicly. The author decried LC/RC members’ fawning adulation of Fr. Maciel’s very mediocre poetic attempt. The Legion, . thought its expensive lawyers, sued, forcing the article to be removed from public view. But that was before Vatican Visitation telling Legion leadership to allow and encourage freedom of expression…(?)
New edition of Luis Lucia’s Psalter of my Hours casts light on Father Marcial Maciel’s appropriated version
by Jean Boudet, investigative journalist
The new edition by Vicent Comes Iglesia in the Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos (BAC) of Luis Lucia Lucia’s Salterio de mis horas, “Psalter of my hours” (Madrid 2014), allows us to consider, virtually for the first time, a poignant 20th century life and a noteworthy work of Catholic spirituality. It allows us also to do something less edifying: we can now compare the original work closely with its appropriation (ReGAIN, plagiarized) by Father Marcial Maciel as Salterio de mis días, ‘Psalter of my days”, esteemed for decades as a foundational work of spirituality among the congregation he founded in Mexico in 1941, the Legionaries of Christ.
Lucia wrote his Salterio while a political prisoner in Barcelona, 1937-40, condemned first by the Spanish Republic and then by Franco. It was politically indelicate and unpublished, emerging only in a small, private edition in Valencia in 1956. Coincidentally this was the year Maciel moved to Spain, having been restricted by Vatican authorities from Rome, where he had brought his congregation, and suspended pending investigation of allegations of drug abuse, sexual abuse, and other irregularities of religious life. Early on in what he called his exile, he encountered Lucia’s Salterio and made it his own. Maciel fashioned a new work that combined plagiarism, both verbatim and slightly adapted, with some original passages that imitated Lucia’s poetic style. And he found in it a poetic language and a theological structure with which to interpret the period of his suspension, 1956-59, as the years of the “Great Blessing.” Continue reading