Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Episcopal Department for Bishops at the Vatican, has been accused of sexual abuse in Canada, where he was Archbishop of Quebec from 2003 to 2010.
as reported AFPThe 78-year-old cardinal is among the defendants “in a class action lawsuit against more than 80 pastors and laymen in Quebec”.
According to the agency, the Canadian cardinal has been “indicted for inappropriately touching an intern between 2008 and 2010 while he was archbishop in that city.”
The allegation is in lawsuit documents filed in the Superior Court of Quebec, one of the most important cities in the French-speaking region of Canada.
The trial includes evidence from 101 people who have been “sexually assaulted” by priests and ordinary people since 1940.
A woman accusing Cardinal Ouellet, identified as “F”, who according to AFP says she has suffered abuse on several occasions. She said that the cardinal must have kissed her and touched her inappropriately.
The Archdiocese of Quebec told AFP it had “looked at the allegations against Cardinal Marc Ouellet” and specified that it “does not wish to comment on the matter.”
Mark Ouellet was born on June 8, 1944. He was ordained a priest on May 25, 1968, at the age of 23. In 2001 he was appointed Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, a position he held until his appointment as Archbishop. Quebec in 2003.
In 2010 he was appointed Prefect of the Congregation and is now the Dicastery for Bishops at the Vatican, a position he currently holds.
One of the functions of this Dicastery is to propose to the Pope for bishop candidates around the world. In the end, the Holy Father chooses those who will serve in this position.
Cardinal Ouellet was part of Pope Francis’ contingent during his recent visit to Canada in late July, where the Holy Fathers apologized to indigenous peoples for the excesses of Christians in the country’s residential schools.