A Bishop has fallen head over heels in love with an expert on Satanism and decided to ditch the church to pursue her, leaving his former colleagues convinced that he has been possessed by demons.

Xavier Novell, 52 and from Spain, resigned last month due to "personal reasons" having met writer and psychologist Silvia Caballol before scrapping celibacy.

The pair met after Xavier started studying demonology.

Catholic publication Religión Digital has confirmed that he is now in a relationship with the satanic erotic fiction author.

Xavier said that he had "fallen in love" with Silvia and "wanted to do the right thing", which is something he has struggled with in the past.

Previously the hardliner has been rightly criticised for his involvement in gay conversion therapy, a controversial set of techniques and exercise that claim to turn homosexual people straight.

He was even accused of arranging a marriage between one of his conversion patients and a woman without the consent of a local priest or her parents.

There were very few concerns over his commitment to church doctrine when he was made Spain's youngest Bishop in 2010.

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Hence, it is quite the turnaround for Xavier to date the author of Amnesia, a dark erotic trilogy, and The Hell of Gabriel's Lust which depicts "the raw struggle between good and evil, god and Satan and angels and demons".

"[It is] not a problem of celibacy but rather of infestation," one of his former colleagues told Spanish media, sure that this dramatic spiritual U-turn can only be explained by demons possessing Xavier.

It has also been alleged that he refused Pope Francis' advice to have an exorcism to "free his troubled spirit". Xavier regularly performed exorcisms when he was a clergyman.

Two imprisoned former ministers from the rebel Catalan government have openly expressed their support for Xavier, who allegedly gave spiritual advice to Josep Rull and Jordi Turull.

Rull said: “Bishop Novell has always been by the side of political prisoners, with words and, above all, with deeds, becoming one of the few exceptions from the Catalan Church hierarchy.”

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