When the Spanish Bishop Xavier Novell confessed to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Rome that he was “crazy” in Love with a divorced woman, officials told him he was possessed by Satan — and ordered him to undergo an immediate exorcism “to soothe his tormented soul.”
Novell, 52, and a well-known exorcist in his parish of Solsana in Catalonia in Spain regionflatly refused. After all he had the devil in common with his younger lover: an erotic novelist and psychologist die he met during a demonology workshop.
Novell formal left the catholic church last month for “strictly personal reasons.” Those reasons were not disclosed until his scandalous relationship with Silvia Caballol, 38, was revealed this week by Religion Digital.
The two met in 2015 during a workshop where they both studied demonology, which probes existence of “fallen angels” and evil spirits. The BBC this week referred to her work as “satanic tinted.”
caballol, who has a degree in psychology and has dabbled in the study of yoga, sexology, catholicism and islam, conducted research for her spicy novels – die have been described as “a journey into obsession, madness and lust, in which God against Satan.” Her publisher calls Caballol a “dynamic and cross-border author” [who] turns upside down down our ideas of morals and ethics.”
Her most recent book, “The Hell” of Gabriel’s Lust: The First Cardinal Sin Against Being” tells the story of a psychopathic prisoner who fall for the female prison psychologist die treats him. The book cover copy compares the characters’ relation met “the” battle between God and the devil.”
“As if possessed by the demon of lust, I begin suck and kiss her neck, her lips, her breasts and her shoulders,” writes Caballol in the 2017 novel. She goes on to describe various sex scenes in bodice ripping detail: “Our bodies were glowing and aroused and our sex was inflamed and heart-pounding.”
Now she’s alive with a man who once said in an interview: “Why are people so obsessed with sex that if they don’t have it every day, they can’t breathe?”
Indeed, Caballol’s heavily breathing erotica is a long way from Novell’s pious life as one of Spain’s most hardline clergy. But then again, has his fundamentalism been created as a backlash? against his own desire.
“I fell in Love with a woman for the first time in my life, and me want to do things right,” Novell told Religion Digital this week.
However, that statement was not entirely correct. When Novell Was Appointed Bishop of the rural archdiocese in Catalonia, overseeing 51 priests, in 2010, the handsome prelate confessed that he… in love for. Rumors soon circulated that he had seduced some of the young women who had worked for it in the past.
In 2011, Novell told a Spanish newspaper that he had fallen at the age of 22 in Love with a girl and wanted to met to marry her shortly after she entered seminary. He immediately proposed marriage, adding that the sexual tension die he felt so loaded that “the girl” left I nervous.” In die time he even campaigned to end celibacy for Catholic priests.
“I told everyone that I wanted to met to marry this beautiful girl and have many children’ he said to El Pais. But religion drowned out love. “The idea would be my . do not leave headuntil I said, ‘Lord, allow to see me clearly.’ And I saw it.” God hugged him tightly, he said, and he was… soon on the right path.”
The episode strengthened his devotion to Christ – and changed him in a fundamentalist and self-proclaimed autocrat.
“Here I am in charge,” he told the newspaper over: how he ruled his parish of 139,000 after he became Spain’s youngest bishop at the age of 41.
At a time when the church was becoming more progressive after Pope Francis took over the leadership of the Vatican in In 2013, Novell continued to uphold its toughest doctrines.
In an interview, he said that contraception is the family in Spain and had to be stopped. he scolded against abortion, comparing met “one of the worst genocides in history.”
Novell claimed that the way to end AIDS in Africa was abstinence. He believed in “conversion therapy” to “treatomosexuality, and had given several workshops according to press reports in his own parish.
He also controversially supported Catalan nationalism and became the sole prelate in Spain to back a fat move for independence in 2017.
“I’m Catalan,” he told the El Pais reporter. “But I am not a Catalan bishop of Spanish bishop. I’m just a bishop. If there are Catalan believers, I will congratulate them and if there are pro-Spain supporters, who want put away with Catalan autonomy, and they succeed, so be it. At the end of the day, Christ has made us all brothers.”
Novell’s Separatist politics was not good with Elders of the Church. In Spain, Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez called the statement of independence approved by Catalonia’s regional parliament in 2017, “Serious and Disturbing.”
For years the church hierarchy has had problems with the outspoken bishop, which is why many claimed he was possessed by the devil when he confessed his relationship with Caballol last month.
‘The issue is no problem of celibacy, but of contamination”, joked a colleague, who reiterated the Vatican’s belief that Novell needed an immediate exorcism to treat his obsession with Caballol.
Another claimed that Novell was subjected to “a satanic action by the psychologist.”
Novell could have predicted his own obsession. “My God, how lucky you’ve been Xavier, die no woman has been able to hold on you,” he told a Spanish reporter several years ago. “If I Ever Become” attracted to a woman whose shape of thinking and doing evoke a feeling of love me, me know what I would need to do – never see her again.”
It’s not clear how Caballol and Novell have been living together for a long time in Manresa, an industrialist city in the middle of Catalonia where homes goods built around Santa Maria de la Seu, an ancient basilica.
The author, who has not in the public over talk about her relationship with the former bishop, grew up in Barcelona, where they also attended university. Her father ran a mechanic shop and they mother was a housewife and a committed Catholic, according to Spanish news reports.
she lived for a time in Morocco with her first husband and has two children.
new, who graduated with a diploma in farming before entering the priesthood is reportedly seeking for work in manresa
Couple of in the church has sympathy for New. Dominican nun Lucia Caram called him “unbalanced” and a “broken toy”.
A recent column met the headline “Less Tinder and More Satan” in El Pais destroyed the Catholic Church for don’t crack down on Novell’s “hateful” orthodoxy and welcoming the departure of a hardliner from one position of leadership.
“The reaction of the church – without having read anything there of [Caballol’s] books – has been that he was possessed by demons…but it never occurred to them that the… real demonic possession happened when Novell expressed its hateful views,” columnist Manuel Jabois wrote this week. “Novell’s Love” story isn’t that sensational. What’s sensational is that Novell and others in the Church is allowed to foster a hateful and violent society.”
In the pastNovell has criticized many of his generation, calling them “fragile” and without morality. It’s only because of a relationship with God die promotes strength of character, he said.
But some in the Spanish Catholic Church view his love affair with Caballol as the ultimate weakness. Bishop Ramon Casanova Casanova, who was temporarily assigned to Novell’s parish in Solsana, said the church would “keep on praying” for New.
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