posted on 09/08/2021 7:54 PM
(credit: Diocese of Solsona/Reproduction)
A religious man known for practicing exorcism, with a long career in the Catholic Church, fell in love with a psychologist who is dedicated to writing erotic books – one of which is a Satanist tale! It could be a summary of a fan fic, in the mold of 50 Shades of Grey, but it is the real story of the Spanish bishop Xavier Novell.
Defender of the independence movement in Catalonia, and famous for homophobic speeches, Novell had his resignation accepted by Pope Francis on August 24th.
Despite the controversies, the Spanish press revealed that the real reason for his leaving the church was his love affair with Silvia Caballol. The information was published by local newspapers this Sunday (5/9). They realize that the religious is already living with Caballol in Barcelona, less than a month after leaving the priesthood.
eroticism and possession
Divorced and mother of two, Silvia Caballol is 38 years old and has a degree in psychology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Among the books he has published are the Amnesia Trilogy and Gabriel’s Hell in Lust, in free translation from Spanish. Both are erotic works and the second has an even hotter ingredient: “the raw fight between good and evil, between God and Satan and between Angels and Demons,” says the publisher’s summary.
The full description details the protagonists’ profiles. “Reality, delirium and fiction blend together in a novel of frantic rawness and intensity; in which the reader will be transported through the penitentiary world, psychopathy, sects, sadism, madness, lust and, gradually, as history progresses, also towards the unreality of immortality and the gross struggle between good and evil, between God and Satan, and between angels and demons; all of this, in the hands of Gabriel’s antagonistic protagonists – psychopath, mentally ill or devil? – and Helena – psychologist, prison researcher, mentally ill or angel?”, says the description.
Spanish newspapers published risqué excerpts from the novels, alongside a self-description placed by Caballol in his book cover presentation. “I am an inveterate reader of romantic and erotic novels. I consider myself a creative person, who loves to love and be loved. Readers who happen to read these words know that, from now on, I love you too”, he said.
For all these details of the writer’s intellectual production, some diocesans even aired that the priest was suffering from “infestation by demonic possession”, revealed the Portuguese website Jornal I.
Currently 52 years old, Xavier Novell was the youngest bishop in the Spanish curia and has been noticed since his first intervention in the post. In 2010, he even said that his command would be the “most extraordinary work of all time” in centuries of Christian tradition. The boldness of the first pronouncement translated into a strongly political bishopric, linked to conservative agendas and the Spanish separatist movement.
After a decade at the helm of the diocese of Solsona, Novell made a decision even more surprising than his appointment: to resign from his post in the clergy. Scholars dedicated to analyzing the dynamics of the Vatican have made several assumptions, especially since the pope’s endorsement of the bishop’s removal came too quickly by Church standards.
The possibility was raised that the decision was for political reasons or because the bishop was a person unloved by the public. In 2013, he was warned to appear less in the media. At the same time, he promoted a controversial mass at Solsona Cathedral, when he received a Canadian priest to exorcise the faithful with the laying on of hands in a kind of shamanic ritual.
When he managed to get away from the media for a while, the religious returned to the spotlight by causing a new polarization. In a statement to the faithful, it was asked if the origin of homosexuality was not linked to a questioning of “manliness” by Western culture, in which a father figure would be “symbolically absent, deviated, blurred”.
Against all this history, the farewell to the church took place discreetly. Not even the parish priests commanded by Novell were notified of what had happened. “We priests learned about the news from the press release, no explanations were given,” said Josep Maria Besora, a priest from Solsona, in an interview with the Spanish newspaper the country.
The next step is to ask the Holy See to dispense with the promise of celibacy and obedience, a process that can take time to complete. For now, the religious polemic remains as bishop emeritus of Solsona.