Tuesday, April 02, 2024

With papal permission: Spanish ex-bishop has married

The retired bishop of the Spanish diocese of Solsona, Xavier Novell, has married in church. 

Sílvia Caballol, author of erotic works and Novell's wife, reported on the wedding ceremony on Instagram on Easter Monday. 

"I thought it would be honest not to tell you that after so long together, Xavier and I were finally able to get married in church thanks to the grace of the Holy Father, who granted him laicisation." 

It has been a long road, says Caballol, but now the canonical situation is settled. 

"We were able to marry as we wanted and receive communion again." 

Her husband remains a bishop, but without being able to exercise the ministry.

When they are dismissed from the clergy, clergymen lose their rights and, with the exception of the obligation to remain celibate, all duties resulting from their ordination. 

The Pope can grant a special dispensation from the obligation of celibacy. 

The consecration itself is indelible. 

The same applies to baptism once conferred.

Novell offered his resignation to Pope Francis in August 2021 for "strictly personal reasons", which the head of the Church accepted. 

It later became known that Novell had entered into a relationship with a psychologist and writer of erotic books. 

The couple got married in a civil ceremony in November 2021, at which point it was already known that they were expecting a child. 

After the marriage became known, the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Solsona determined that Novell had incurred the criminal offence of suspension as a result of the civil marriage.

Novell, who studied agricultural economics, has been working for a company in the province of Barcelona since 2021 that trades in pig semen and performs artificial insemination on farm animals. 

Novell was the youngest bishop in Spain when he was consecrated in 2010 and was considered conservative in church matters. 

He is said to have supported so-called conversion therapies for homosexuals in the church and took part in such a course himself. 

Novell is also regarded as an outspoken supporter of the Catalan independence movement.