It was the time when It was forbidden for men to walk in shirt sleeves in the middle of the street and for women to go to religious services without their heads covered.. It was the time when allusions to sex were whispered and priests were all powerful. It was him Francoism of the 50s, that of national catholicism, and that is why it is almost impossible to believe in the history of Malaga priest Hipólito Lucena that in Malaga at the beginning of that decade a luminous face was forged in front of his parish helping the needy and another very dark, seducing and capturing parishioners in the confessional. With them he ended up organizing orgies wrapped in mysticism at the foot of the altar. Incredible and yet that happened and it has served the Malaga native Antonio Soler to assemble his new and very literary novel 'Sacramento' (Gutenberg Galaxy) that follows the multi-award winning 'South' and is far from being a denunciation book or a chronicle.
Half misery and half fantasy. The Spain in which the priest thrived, the one that believed in flying saucers and that in the United States the dogs went crazy because of jazz and television, it seemed forged, according to the writer, "by Ed Wood, God and Azcona." "That Lucena's activities could go so far is only understood thanks to the protection of the powerful Church that protected its members."
"He claimed to be in possession of the truth but it is very difficult to know if I believed it or not"
It is not easy at all to take the measurements for a subject like Lucena, a boy who was led to the seminary by family hardships - the death of his mother - which did not prevent him from forging there an intense religious vocation that necessarily had to conflict with an insatiable libido. “In all my novels I always avoid making judgments. The first news that reaches me about him is very elementary, but when I started to find out more about the character, I saw that he had many facets and very contradictory ". There was the man who, in the light of day, rigorously complied not only with the precepts of the Church but also involved himself in those of the community. "Perhaps that bonhomie was a bit over the top, very much for the gallery, but it served so that many customers, who had seen how the doctor of some beggars paid out of pocket, did not believe the scandal."
Flour and water
The big problem is if Lucena, who promoted sex with his parishioners - a score of women who called themselves the hypolithines- as a form of sacrament, a divine bond, which he denied when the Vatican took action on the matter and sentenced him to confinement in a religious establishment for 20 years. "He claimed to be in possession of the truth but it is difficult to know if he really believed it or was it a measure to carry out his sexual desires. I don't have the answer -tercia Soler- but it is true that we are talking about people convinced that in a little flour and water the maximum creator of the universe is contained ”.
"As happens to the corrupt in all areas, as time passes, the feeling of impunity grows. For Hipólito it was like this: he lowered his guard"
Having seen more than a hundred photographs provided by the Lucena family helped the author to capture the atmosphere of Malaga at the time. The first thing that surprises is the bland and unattractive physique of the priest. But we must not forget the enormous power that the priests wielded in the narrow confessionals, where the parishioners and especially the women were sincere, perhaps it was the only place where they could do so. “The confessor has access to all the wants and needs of those who come to him. It is a unique opportunity to probe and manipulate their victims ". Hipólito was not handsome but he spoke very well, he knew how to behave among the humble and among the powerful, his body language can be seen in the photos.
“As happens to the corrupt in all areas, as time passes, the feeling of impunity grows. For Hipólito it was like this: he lowered his guard, he made mistakes and lapses that led him to be investigated by the Vatican ". His story did not reach the newspapers, it passed by word of mouth through his victims and those who knew them. Soler says that the Irish priest who traveled to Malaga To see the conditions in which Lucena was going to live after being his jailer for 20 years he said goodbye to his nephew: “I am a deeply believing person and in life I only fear God and Father Hipólito ”.
- Author:: Antonio Soler
- Editorial:: Gutenberg Galaxy
- 416 pages. 22 euros: