CONTACT: Elisenda Sola-Sole 301/949-9416
J. Paul Lennon author of
Our Father Maciel, Who Art in Bed
A Naive and Sentimental Dubliner in the Legion of Christ
Thursday, May 7
The author was one of the first Irish recruits of the Legion of Christ, a very successful religious order founded by Father Maciel and approved by the Vatican.
What Paul observed as he struggled with an austere and rigorous training system was the lavish life-style Fr Maciel, “Nuestro Padre”, enjoyed, justified apparently by his multiple illnesses. Years after leaving, the author learned about credible accusations of Maciel sexually abusing his seminarians, from bed; thence the title.
Fr. Maciel and the order’s leaders vigorously denied those allegations up to the founder’s death in January 2008. Mr. Lennon was sued by the Legion in August 2007 for “scurrilously criticizing” the Legion and “stealing personal and proprietary material”; subsequently Legion lawyers made him take down a discussion board where ex-members aired the order’s dirty laundry. Now, two years later, Legion leaders have revealed that Fr. Maciel fathered a now twenty-year-old daughter. The public is demanding more information and reform from the Legion, while the order and its lay branch, Regnum Christi (Kingdom of Christ) maintain they are, nevertheless, divinely inspired.
This honest testimony of one who has been on the inside pretends to shed some light on the controversial phenomenon of the Legion of Christ religious order and its lay branch, Regnum Christi. The intimate narrative is enlivened with quotes from Siddhartha and with the lyrics of songs that accompanied the author growing up in Dublin, traveling to Spain and Italy, working in Mexico, and finally "landing" on the shores of the Potomac in 1985 to recover from his ordeal.
Though a cautionary tale, the story exudes healing and hope as the author comes to terms with himself, God and the Catholic Church.
Kensington Row Bookshop
3786 Howard Ave
Kensington MD 20895