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Pope rules out investigation against cardinal accused of sexual assault in Canada

2022-08-18T16:24:03.957Z

A prefect of the Congregation for Bishops allegedly inappropriately touched a trainee between 2008 and 2010 when he was Archbishop of Quebec.



Pope Francis has ruled out, for lack of "

sufficient evidence

", the opening of a new investigation against Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, accused of sexual assault in his country, Vatican spokesman Matteo announced on Thursday August 18. Burnished.

"

Pope Francis declares that there are not sufficient elements to open a canonical investigation (religious, editor's note) for sexual assaults by Cardinal Ouellet against person F.

", as the complainant was named, the spokesperson said in a brief statement.

A Letter to the Pope

Marc Ouellet, 78 years old and current prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, one of the most important functions of the Vatican government, allegedly inappropriately touched an intern between 2008 and 2010 when he was archbishop of Quebec, according to accusations appearing in a document resulting from the collective action authorized by the Superior Court of this French-speaking province last May.

It was not until 2020 that F., who says he was also the victim of sexual assault by another cleric, spoke about it to the advisory committee on sexual abuse of the diocese of Quebec.

This organization then recommended that he write a letter to Pope Francis.

In 2021, the sovereign pontiff responds by appointing "

Father Jacques Servais to investigate Cardinal Marc Ouellet

".

And it is precisely on the basis of the elements gathered by Father Servais that the pope decided to exclude an investigation against Bishop Ouellet, indicates Matteo Bruni.

The spokesman specifies that Father Servais, whose preliminary investigation concluded on the absence of sufficient elements, was again contacted by the pope, who received the assurance that there was no reason to continue the procedure.

Read alsoChild crime: the Italian Church launches a study on sexual assault between 2000 and 2021

Unusually, the statement, written in Italian, quotes statements in French from Father Servais, a Jesuit like the pope himself.

There are no grounds to open an investigation into the sexual assault of Person F. by Card.

Marc Ouellet

,” he says.

Neither in his report written and sent to the Holy Father, nor in the testimony via Zoom that I subsequently collected in the presence of a member of the ad hoc diocesan committee, did this person make an accusation that would provide material to such an investigation

,” Father Servais wrote, quoted in the Vatican statement.

Source: lefigaro

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