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Pope authorises church wedding for suspended Spanish bishop and erotica writer

by Kelly Valencia
Xavier novell and Silvia Caballol.png - Banner image
Silvia Caballol Instagram

A Spanish bishop who made headlines in 2021 for resigning his license to marry an erotica writer has now been granted permission to wed in church.

Pope Francis has granted the “secularitzacio” to Rt Rev Xavier Novell, the former Bishop of Solsona, meaning he is no longer allowed to minister in the Church but has not lost his religious identity.

According to church documents, the measure should be seen as a favour towards the bishop and should be distinguished from the "expulsion" of the religious with solemn vows and from the "dismissal" of the religious with simple vows, which are penal measures towards guilty subjects.

Posting on social media, Catalan writer Silvia Caballol Clemente said she had been “surprised by the great human and spiritual quality of Pope Francis”. Clemente also explained the process had been a “long road” but was glad to have been able to regulate their “canonical situation” as they wanted to “receive communion again”.

She said: “I don’t believe darkness is what our love and the Church deserve, and I don’t think the cover-up accompanying my husband’s resignation was good. I’m sorry for everyone who thinks it should have been kept secret, but I can’t continue acting as if I’ve no thoughts or feelings.”

Novell was a high flier within the Catholic Church, and became Spain’s youngest bishop when he was appointed to the diocese of Solsona, Catalonia aged 41. He is known for his reported endorsement of gay conversion therapy and practise of exorcisms, as well as being a supporter of the Catalan independence movement.

The couple have two young daughters.



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