A Spanish bishop, Xavier Novell, resigned from the Roman Catholic Church last month after he reportedly fell in love with an erotic fiction writer, Silvia Caballol.
When Novell announced he would be stepping down from his role of more than a decade, the church released a statement saying it was for “strictly personal reasons.”
But Spanish media outlet, Religion Digital, has now revealed the 52-year-old is in a relationship with Caballol, a 38-year-old divorcee who writes Satanic-themed erotic fiction and also a trained psychologist.
Novell became Spain’s youngest bishop in 2010 when he took up the position in Solsona, in Catalonia’s North East, at the age of 41.
In that role, he backed conversion therapy for members of the LGBTQ+ community and held traditional values regarding abortion and homosexuality, BBC reports.
Seen as a rising star in the Catholic Church, Novell was also an outspoken supporter of Catalonian independence and had met with the pope on several occasions.
Some sources claim that Pope Francis urged Novell to have an exorcism himself to “free his troubled spirit,” but he refused.
His resignation came as a surprise for the church, which has maintained the decision was private, saying “corroboration or not of this story is a strictly personal matter for him alone.”
Caballol’s books include one titled “The Hell of Gabriel’s Lust”.
An introduction for the book says readers are “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, who obtained a degree inAgricultural Technical Engineering from the University of Lleida, is now reportedly looking for work in the Barcelona area as an agronomist, or farm researcher.