Xavier Novell had a hell of a resume in the Catholic Church. According to the BBC, he “became Spain’s youngest bishop” in 2010 at 41 years old. He was also an exorcist and such a big fan of conversion therapy and opponent of abortion, euthanasia, and gay marriage that he was considered extreme even by the Church itself.
Now, because he wanted this rap sheet to be a bit more colorful, Novell has left all of this behind to pursue a relationship with psychologist and author of “satanic-tinged erotic fiction,” Silvia Caballol.
The BBC explains that Novell’s resignation—initially attributed to “personal reasons”—”came as a surprise last month” and was followed by him meeting “several times with Vatican officials as well as the Pope himself.” The reason’s become a bit clearer now that Spanish news sites have reported that “he had fallen” for Caballol, author of books like The Hell of Gabriel’s Lust.
“In the blurb for one of her works,” the BBC article states, “the reader is promised a journey into sadism, madness, and lust and a struggle between good and evil, God and Satan with a plot to shake one’s values and religious beliefs.” Novell’s religious beliefs seem to have been well and truly shaken by Caballol’s fiction since he’s apparently now trying to find work as an agricultural engineer while the Church keeps silent, calling his resignation “a strictly personal matter.”
While a bishop giving up his job for the love of a sexy satanist is fun to think about, others suggest that Novell’s history in the Church, notably his ultraconservative views and his loud support of the Catalan independence movement, may, as The Irish Times points out, have made him unpopular enough to resign. The more entertaining alternate explanation, outlined in a National Post article, is that the former exorcist himself is possessed.
“Church colleagues told Spanish media they believe Bishop Novell had been possessed by demons,” the article reads, “with one saying this was ‘not a problem of celibacy but rather of infestation.’”
These sources say that Novell’s interest in demonology was what “apparently led him to meet and become close to Caballol, an expert in satanism” in the first place. They also say that Pope Francis has personally “urged Bishop Novell to undergo an exorcism,” though Novell’s refused.
Perhaps one day we’ll know the truth. But for now, whatever the true reason for Novell’s decision to leave the Church for a cool satanic erotica writer, we’re just happy that he’s finally begun positioning himself on the side of good.
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