Friday, September 17

Monsignor Novell’s ‘conversion’: from ultra-conservative bishop to leaving his cassock to live with a woman

“I have fallen in love with a woman, and I want to do things well.” They say that this was the message with which the former bishop of Solsona, Xavier Novell, explained to those close to him the ultimate reason for his resignation from the episcopate, which on August 23 opened the penultimate scandal in the Spanish Church. As confirmed yesterday by Religión Digital, the prelate maintains a relationship with a young writer from Suria, with whom he would be living in Manresa, and looking for work as an agronomist, the degree he completed before entering the priesthood.

The scandal of therapies to ‘cure’ homosexuality puts the Church in check, which chooses to endorse them

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Meanwhile, the Spanish Church maintains a resounding silence regarding the reasons for Novell’s departure. This morning, and after the latest publications on the prelate, the diocese of Solsona has issued a brief statement, in which it insists on the “strictly personal reasons” adduced by Novell to avoid “corroborating or not” their new relationship. “It belongs to his strict personal sphere.”

A strategy of silence that, as always in these cases, has fostered theories and rumors. From the Episcopal Conference it remains silent, endorsed by a Vatican that, apparently, accelerated the request for the resignation of the prelate to warn of the scandal that was coming.

Novell’s case has surprised both his congregation and the Curia, as the now former bishop was among the most conservative bishops in Spain. The fact that he is living with a divorced woman, mother of two children, is striking when you consider that Novell in his speeches not only attacked homosexuals but also divorced people and blocked the way of women in the church. The now former bishop has been accused of participating and promoting “conversion therapies” for gays along with other well-known prelates, such as Reig or Munilla. He also made controversial statements about homosexuality, which he linked to the “lack of a father figure.” He was also controversial in defining abortion as the “gravest genocide of humanity”, or in condemning the new euthanasia law.

Silence fertilizes different theories. Since the Vatican would have silenced him for his position in favor of the independence of Catalonia (the truth is that the Nuncio ordered him not to express himself in public on the matter, but this is not the reason) to his participation in conversion therapies , going through the ‘burn out’ syndrome, the truth is that those who know him adduce “reasons of a psychological nature” and fear that this is not the last chapter in this story. As the Dominican Sister Lucía Caram points out in an article, “things are more complex than they seem.”

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