Spanish bishop Xavier Novell (52) has resigned because he has fallen in love with a woman and wants to marry her.

Pope Francis granted his request in record time.

The very conservative bishop became known for becoming bishop of the Catalan town of Solsona at the age of 41.

Eleven years later, the by far youngest bishop of Spain has fallen in love with a 38-year-old writer of erotic literature, a divorced mother of two.

They started dating, which prompted Novell to step down as bishop in August.

Pope Francis immediately agreed, while such a process can normally take months.

According to Spanish media, this was due to the nature of the case.

Falling in love with a woman and wanting to live with her was a "serious circumstance," according to the Roman Catholic Church.

The fact that the woman in question, the psychologist Sara from nearby Manresa, writes erotic novels must have contributed to the Pope's swift action.

The church tried to cover up the news, but

Religión Digital

managed to figure out the reason for the bishop's mysterious departure.

Writer of book about cults, sadism and lust

In addition, the psychologist's last book is about cults, sadism, and lust.

These are topics that the Roman Catholic Church prefers not to talk about.

The relationship between the bishop and the writer has become a hot item in Spanish television programs and national newspapers.

The deeply conservative Novell has been under fire for some time for strongly opposing the policies of the progressive Pope Francis.

He was also in favor of controversial therapies whereby homosexuals could be 'cured' of their sexual orientation.

When he left, he would have already mentioned the real reason for his departure to close associates.

"I fell in love with a woman for the first time in my life and now I want to do things right."

According to

El País

, Novell is not closing the door completely behind him in Solsona. He will remain as Bishop Emeritus. He is expected to ask the Holy See for dispensation from the promise of celibacy and obedience. He then becomes a lay bishop, a bishop without function.

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