A Spanish bishop has tendered his resignation to pursue marriage with an erotic novelist. Last month, Xavier Novell, 52, announced his resignation from the diocese of Solsona citing "personal reasons."
Novell's resignation was accepted by the Pope. At the time the reason behind his abrupt decision to leave the Catholic church was unknown. However, this Sunday it was revealed that the former bishop is in a romantic relationship with a woman named Silvia Caballol, as reported by Spanish newspaper El Pais.
"I have fallen in love with a woman and I want to do things well," Novell was quoted as saying by Catholic Church Journalist Jesus Bastante.
Who is Silvia Caballol?
Caballol, 38, is a Barcelona-based writer of erotic novels. She has penned at least two erotic novels - Amnesia Trilogy and The Hell of Gabriel's Lust, which is described as an erotic novel with Satanic overtones. Divorced and with two children, Caballol was born in SÃºria and lived for a time in Morocco with her ex-partner. After the divorce he returned to Barcelona, where she will now live with Xavier Novell.
Caballol is also a psychologist and graduated from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She also took up courses in sexology, anti-stress techniques, yoga, as well as classes on Catholic and Islamic religion, according to Religion Digital.
Novell to Ask Pope for Exemption from Celibacy, Obedience Vows
According to El Pais, Novell will now seek permission from the Pope to be exempt from the celibacy and obedience vows that all Catholic bishops accept when they enter the clergy.During this time, Novell would return to a lay position without leaving the church, while the Holy See considers whether or not to grant it.
Following Novell's resignation, the Pope appointed the bishop of Vic, RomÃ Casanova, as apostolic administrator of the diocese to replace him. Novell, who became the youngest bishop in Spain in 2010 at the age of 41, has previously drawn criticism for defending homosexuality conversion therapies and likening abortion to "genocide."