Vatican Cardinal Marc Ouellet was accused of sexual harassment in a court case in Canada released on Tuesday (16). He is the highest-ranking cleric named in the class action suit against the Catholic Diocese of Quebec, the victims’ lawyer said.
The lawsuit represents more than 100 people, including minors, who were allegedly sexually abused by 88 priests and officials working in the diocese of Quebec, according to a court document and a press release from Arsenault Dufresne Wee, which filed the representation. .
In the lawsuit, which is pending in Quebec Superior Court, an anonymous victim alleges that Ouellet touched her inappropriately, including rubbing her shoulders and back, and made comments that made her uncomfortable.
The document states that the interactions took place between 2008 and 2010, when Ouellet was Archbishop of Quebec and head of the diocese. She, then 23, was working as an intern. The cardinal does not face criminal charges.
Ouellet now heads the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, which advises the pope on which priests should be made bishops. He is on the lists of possible candidates to succeed Pope Francis after the pontiff’s death or resignation.
One of two Canadian cardinals residing at the Vatican, he accompanied the Pope on his trip to Canada last month.
The woman’s complaint against Ouellet was filed directly with the Vatican in 2021 and sent to Father Jacques Servais, a theologian charged with investigating the matter. The whistleblower said she was not yet aware of conclusions about the case, the document said.
The class action was authorized in May to proceed. Arsenault said it expects the number of victims in the class action to rise after the presentation made on Tuesday.
A Vatican spokesman did not respond to a request for comment, and calls made to Ouellet’s Vatican residence and office on Tuesday night went unanswered.
A representative for the diocese of Quebec declined to comment. Reuters did not find the cardinal’s lawyer until the last update of this report.
Source: CNN Brasil