Newsweek [New York NY]
September 6, 2021
By Anders Anglesey
A Spanish bishop resigned from his post to settle down with a writer of erotic novels, according to reports.
Xavier Novell, 52, started a new chapter of his life when he suddenly resigned from his position at the diocese of Solsona last August for “personal reasons” in order to have a relationship with an erotic novel writer.
The woman, who Spanish newspaper El Pais named only as “SC,” from Barcelona, has published several erotic novels.
Among the titles reportedly attributed to her are the “Amnesia Trilogy” and “Hell in Gabriel’s Lust.”
According to the publication, she will not comment on speculation “nor will she grant interviews.”
El Pais reported Pope Francis, the most senior figure in the Catholic Church, had accepted Novell’s resignation from his position.
Still according to El Pais, Novell will also ask for the Pope’s permission for a dispensation from the vow of celibacy and obedience that all Catholic bishops take when they enter the priesthood.
During this process, Novell would return to a lay status without officially leaving the church as the Holy See reviews whether to grant it.
El Pais reports Novell had been absent from his position for several weeks before he handed in his resignation.
Josep Maria Besora, a priest in Solsona, appeared to be unsure about the reports and told El Pais: “In the last few days I received three messages about this woman, and each message said something different.
“I don’t know anything about this matter, and whether it’s true or a lie, they are the bishop’s personal reasons.”
According to the Spanish radio network SER, Novell became the youngest bishop in Spain at the age of 41 and back in 2010 he told the station that before he decided to enter the priesthood, he wanted to “have children.”
He added: “It is a magnificent vocation but I see that the Lord has wanted me to renounce that beautiful thing to have a bigger family.”
Newsweek has contacted officials at the Vatican for comment.
While the pope can grant resignations, he has previously taken a stance against allowing certain senior figures within the Catholic Church to leave.
In June, when responding to the sex abuse scandal in the German Church, Pope Francis refused to allow Cardinal Reinhard Marx to step down and said every bishop needed to take responsibility for the “catastrophe” of the crisis.