Canada. Cardinal Marc Ouellet suspected of sexual harassment

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, former Archbishop of Quebec and former Primate of Canada, was included in a list of 88 clergy and lay people suspected of sexual harassment for the Church, which was released as part of a class action lawsuit against the Diocese of Quebec, CBS reported.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet is mentioned among the potential successors of the Pope Francis. Fully in Vatican he is the prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops and the chairman of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. He accompanied the Pope on his last pilgrimage to Canada.

The class action lawsuit, filed by over 100 victims of sexual abuse, concerns priests and others working for the Quebec diocese. In some cases it goes back to 1940, writes Reuters.

Ouellet is accused of a woman identified in the records as “F”. In 2008-2010, “F” was an intern in the diocese as a lay pastoral worker. At that time, Ouellet was supposed to use ambiguous behaviors, gestures and suggestions towards her, which made “F” completely resign from participating in pastoral events during which she could meet him. In one of the documents we read that the cardinal was to “rub her back and shoulders,” writes Reuters.

She informed another priest and people from the pastoral ministry about the behavior of Archbishop “F” and heard that she was not the only person whom Ouellet treated in this way.

The woman decided to file a complaint about the archbishop, when another priest treated her in a similar way. The complaint was filed directly with the Vatican in 2021. “F” has still not been informed of the outcome of the investigation into Ouellet.

He himself was summoned to Rome in 2010, where he continues to head the Dicastery for Bishops.

The Vatican has not commented on the report on sexual abuse that mentions Ouellet.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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