Xavier Novell and Sílvia Caballol are now husband and wife. The bishop emeritus of Solsona (Lleida) and his wife went up to the civil altar this Monday, the justice of the peace of Súria (Barcelona), to show their love before the State. It has only been three months since Novell resigned from his apostolate. Before God, the link would not have been possible so fast because before he would need the Vatican’s dispensation from his obligations as a priest, such as celibacy, and the Church’s discomfort with Novell is that of my father and dear sir.
Novell has lived during these months far from his diocese in a small apartment in Manresa (Barcelona), where Caballol resides. The link, advanced by the program Baixa Plant of TV-3, took place on Monday afternoon, shortly after the still bishop emeritus finished his work day in his new job, in the laboratory of the animal fertility company Semen Cardona. Novell is also an agricultural engineer. As godparents of the link, Caballol’s mother and her partner signed, as reported by local media. Novell has distanced himself from his parents, deeply religious people, according to people close to them informed EL PAÍS. Caballol, 14 years younger than her husband — Novell is 52 years old — is divorced and the mother of two children, is a psychologist and has stood out for having written a series of novels with erotic and demonic content.
The couple has avoided contact with the media. It is unknown since when they have been in the relationship but during 2021, before his resignation as bishop, information was already circulating among the priests of the diocese about Novell’s secret love. He, as titular bishop of Solsona, confirmed Caballol last June in a ceremony that was held in the church of Biosca (Lleida).
Novell’s silence has especially caused discomfort in his old diocese, because he left office overnight without giving explanations to his parishioners and priests; only the top of the Church knew that his resignation was for love. The Pope of Rome accepted his resignation with unusual speed under Canon 401 of the Code of Canon Law, which establishes that the bishop must resign “if his capacity to perform it is impaired by illness or other serious cause.” The journalists of TV-3 have affirmed this Tuesday that Caballol is pregnant. Novell has not requested a dispensation from his priestly commitments, but the Church has suspended him from his duties, that is, he cannot officiate Mass, or provide the sacraments.
Novell’s silence raised all kinds of speculation about the reasons for her disappearance. The possibility was contemplated that he had been removed from office due to his involvement in ultra-Catholic groups that spread homosexuality conversion therapies, a practice that has been rejected by the Spanish Episcopal Conference itself.
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