Cardinal Ouellet named in Canadian sex abuse lawsuit

Carl Bunderson   By Carl Bunderson for CNA

 

Cardinal Marc Ouellet takes part in the Pontifical Council for Culture’s Plenary Assembly on Women’s Cultures in Rome, Feb. 6, 2015. / Bohumil Petrik/CNA.

Denver Newsroom, Aug 16, 2022 / 16:04 pm (CNA).

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops, was accused of sexual assault in a civil suit filed against the Archdiocese of Quebec.

AFP reported that the class action suit, filed Aug. 16, includes the testimony of 101 people who say they were sexually assaulted by clerics or Church staff from 1940 to the present. Eighty-eight clerics face accusations in the suit.

Ouellet is accused by a woman who says that he assaulted her multiple times while she worked as a pastoral intern for the Quebec archdiocese between 2008 and 2010, while he was Archbishop of Quebec. She described him kissing her and sliding his hand down her back to her buttock.

According to the CBC, the alleged incidents involving Ouellet occurred at public events.

The suit says that the alleged victim wrote to Pope Francis about Ouellet in January 2021, and she received an email Feb. 23, 2021 had appointed Father Jacques Servais to investigate the cardinal. Her last communication with Servais was the following month, and as of now “no conclusion concerning the complaints against Cardinal Marc Ouellet has been sent” to her.

Another class action suit was filed against the Brothers of the Christian Schools. In that case, 193 alleged victims have accused 116 De La Salle Brothers of sexual assault.

Ouellet, 78, was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Amos in 1968, at age 23. He joined the Sulpicians in 1972. In 2001 he was appointed secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and consecrated a bishop.

He served as Archbishop of Quebec from 2002 to 2010, when he was appointed prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

Ouellet has been outspoken about sex abuse, and priestly formation.

At a 2018 meeting of the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe, he said that “We would need participation of more women in (training) of priests” to prevent abuse.

He reiterated this point in a 2020 interview with Donne Chiesa Mondo, saying, “for the priest, learning to relate to women in the context of formation is a humanizing factor which promotes the balance of man’s personality and affectivity.”

The cardinal said he thought the Church would benefit greatly from an increased presence of women on seminary formation teams, as theology, philosophy, and spirituality teachers, and “in particular in vocational discernment.”

Ouellet verbally sparred with Archbishop Vigano as details of Vatican knowledge of Theodore McCarrick emerged in recent years.

In an October 2018 letter, Ouellet said it was communicated to Vigano in 2011 that McCarrick “had to obey certain conditions and restrictions because of rumors about his behavior in the past,” and that he “was strongly urged not to travel and not to appear in public, in order not to provoke further rumours about him. It is false to present the measures taken against him as ‘sanctions’ decreed by Pope Benedict XVI and annulled by Pope Francis.”

And in January 2019, Ouellet wrote that his congregation had blocked the U.S. bishops from voting on proposals to address the sex abuse crisis in November because it believed more time was needed to discuss the measures.


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2 Comments

  1. Firm action must be taken. Many will argue that Papa has been lenient with offenders and indifferent to the reputation of the church. There has been slackness in addressing victims of inappropriate behaviour by representatives of the church.

    Though he may be planning a nice retirement, some influential voices suggest he should be excommunicated.

    Meet and greet, out and about and political correctness are not papal duties. Bewildering encyclicals further obfuscate and add to a weakening of the church. We like to be charitable and give people the benefit of the doubt, yet God gives us a standard by which we may judge a mans words and actions.

    1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

    Romans 16:17-18I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

    Thank God for men like Vigano, Muller and Burke.

  2. Yet another one of Pope Francis’s confidants is accused of sexual misconduct, which seems to be the norm rather than the exception under the Bergoglian Dumpster Fire Pontificate. The only surprise is that the alleged victim is a woman.

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  2. Cardinal Ouellet named in Canadian sex abuse lawsuit | Franciscan Sisters of St Joseph (FSJ) , Asumbi Sisters Kenya

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