Spanish bishop resigned, reportedly to live with a woman

Blanca Ruiz   By Blanca Ruiz for CNA

Bishop Xavier Novell Gomà, Bishop Emeritus of Solsona. / Conferencia Episcopal Española via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Solsona, Spain, Sep 8, 2021 / 17:01 pm (CNA).

It has been widely reported that Bishop Xavier Novell Gomà, who resigned as Bishop of Solsona last month, did so to cohabit with a divorcee.

The Diocese of Solsona, however, said Sept. 6 that “the decision made by said bishop emeritus [to resign] is due to ‘strictly personal reasons’ and, therefore, the corroboration, or not, of this information belongs strictly to his personal purview.”

Bishop Novell, 52, resigned Aug. 23 citing “strictly personal reasons.” The diocese announced that the decision was made freely and in accord with a canon which asks that a bishop “who has become less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause … present his resignation from office.”

When his resignation was accepted, the diocese said the bishop made his decision “after a period of reflection, discernment and prayer, at the end of which he has spontaneously presented to the Holy Father his own situation and his resignation from the pastoral government of the diocese of Solsona.”

Various media broke the news Sept. 5 that Bishop Novell moved to Manresa to live with Silvia Caballol, 38, a psychologist and author of erotic novels with satanic overtones, some of them restricted to those 18 or older.

Caballol is separated from her husband, and the mother of two.

Bishop Novell was born in 1969 in Spain’s Lérida province.

He earned a degree in agricultural technical engineering from the University of Lleida, a bachelor’s in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1997, and a doctorate in 2004.

He was ordained a priest of the Solsona diocese in 1997, and in 2010 he was consecrated a bishop and appointed ordinary of the same diocese.

Upon Bishop Novell’s resignation, Bishop Romà Casanova Casanova of Vic was appointed apostolic administrator of Solsona.

The Solsona diocese said Sept. 6 that it “continues to pray for [Bishop Novell] with all hope placed in the Lord.”

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  1. In the New York Post today about this story…

    ‘Meanwhile, in news you can’t make up, a Catholic bishop has quit the church after falling for a writer of Satanic-erotic fiction. Spanish clergyman Xavier Novell, 52, met Silvia Caballol, 38, at a demonology workshop. Her 2017 novel, “The Hell of Gabriel’s Lust,” contains steamy passages like: “As if possessed by the demon of lust, I begin to… [I deleted content here due to sensitivity].” Now the Catholic Church is worrying out loud that Novell himself is possessed and in need of an exorcism.’

  2. I read about this in the newspaper today. Yet another black eye for the church, which is regrettable. Exactly WHO is making these selections for Bishop?Cardinal?? Clearly they need some better advice. Equally clear is that this Bishop has significant problems. That a clergyman will leave the church is sad but it need not be a scandal. That one would leave to take up with a person who writes pornography is a cut above awful. A Pope who asks, “who am I to judge?”, is part of the problem. Maybe its time the church spends less time in empathy and more time in reprimand, which could serve as a warning to others tempted to go down a similar road. The continued reluctance of clergy at all levels to talk about SIN is at the root of much of this, in my opinion. The exclusive stressing of forgiveness is starting to look like a free pass to do whatever you’d like, no matter how immoral or sinful.They need to bring back some balance in their approach, and fast.

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