LETTER FROM MADRID
The renunciation of the Bishop of Solsona, conquered by a writer of erotic-satanic novels, continues to fascinate the Spaniards and to feed the columns of the press as well as audiovisual programs of all kinds. The licentious drift of a man who preached abstinence and practiced exorcism has all the springs of a television series. The creator of the series The Wire himself, David Simon, seems not to doubt it: he has retweeted an article from New York Post echoing this unlikely love, accompanying it with an ironic quote borrowed from Philip Stanhope, Fourth Earl of Chesterfield: “Anything worth doing is worth doing well. ”
When the Spanish press reported on August 23 the decision of the Bishop of Solsona – a small town of 9,000 souls in the province of Lerida, Catalonia – to give up his office for “Strictly personal reasons” – a choice immediately accepted by Pope Francis – rumors raged. What could be the mystery hidden by Xavier Novell, who was the youngest bishop of Spain at his consecration, in 2010, when he was only 41 years old?
Each has gone there from his analysis, on the basis of the many controversies provoked over the past ten years by this prelate known for his ultraconservative positions, from the defense of sexual reorientation therapies towards homosexuals to his statements qualifying abortion as“One of the greatest genocides in history”, but also for his support for the Catalan independence cause, which made him visit in prison the separatist leaders convicted of sedition.
For some, its renunciation had to be linked to its deep divergences with the reformist positions defended by Pope Francis. For the others, his political commitment must have put him under pressure.
Some priests have asked for an exorcism to be performed on the bishop, in order to cure him of “demonic subjugation”
It was not until September 6 to have the end of the story, revealed by the information site Religion Digital. “I fell in love and I want to do things right”, would have revealed Xavier Novell to rare confidants, before leaving Solsona.
However, the object of this enthusiasm left the Church, its faithful and all Spaniards speechless: a writer of very raw erotic novels, such El infierno en la lujuria de Gabriel (“Hell in the lust of Gabriel”, untranslated), which is presented as the story of a “Struggle between good and evil, between God and Satan”, and teeming with biblical quotes.
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