October 7, 2022

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Cardinal Ouellet splashed | The Journal of Montreal

Cardinal Marc Oulet, who has already been approached to become pope, is the subject of sexual abuse allegations that he allegedly kissed and touched the buttocks of a trainee from the Diocese of Quebec in the past.

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The information was made public in a document filed Tuesday as part of a class action against the diocese. Cardinal Ouellet, who accompanied the pope on his visit to Quebec last July, has not been criminally charged in the case.

In August 2008, F. (His identity has been withheld) began training as a bishop in the Diocese of Quebec. She was 23 years old then.

Pope Francis and Cardinal Mark Olette at the Vatican last February.

Photo Archives, AFP

Pope Francis and Cardinal Mark Olette at the Vatican last February.

In the fall of 2008, during an event, he met the first, then Archbishop of Quebec, Marc Oulet. During the evening, she says, he would have massaged her shoulders “vigorously”, the cardinal would have smiled at her and patted her on the back before leaving.

In November 2008, following a reception by F. He would have met the Cardinal again. According to the document, the cardinal allegedly kissed her “introductoryly” and “held her firmly against him, hitting her on the back with his hands”.

Inappropriate comment

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He last remembered being in contact with Cardinal Marc Oulet in February 2010 at Notre-Dame Basilica in Quebec.

“It’s the second time they’ve seen each other this week and Cardinal Mark Ouellet tells her he can kiss her again because ‘it’s okay to spoil yourself a little'” , we may read. F. says he finds this comment “completely inappropriate”.

During this same meeting, “Cardinal […] kisses her and slides her hand down F.’s back to her butt”, is this mentioned in the story.

F. said he had spoken to Cardinal Ouellet about the “discomfort” he was feeling. She would have been told, “He’s so hot, she’s not the only one who has this kind of ‘problem’ with him.”

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According to Me Alain Arsenault, who is leading the class action, the woman was traumatized by the events.

“He was a man of power. It was no small matter boss, he was a man of extraordinary light in the diocese at that time. He is the big boss. He is a cardinal. He had more power and was assigned to Rome,” the lawyer underlines.

In the fall of 2020, ten years after his last meeting with the cardinal, F. Attends sexual assault training.

She identifies herself in the sexual assaults she claims to have suffered from Cardinal Marc Ouellet and another priest from the Diocese of Quebec, Father Léopold Manirabarusha.

In January 2021, he was invited to write a letter to Pope Francis regarding the cardinal. A month later, a father has taken charge of the investigation, but till date, no decision regarding the complaints has been sent to him.

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The Diocese of Quebec responded briefly on Tuesday.

“We are taking note of the allegations against Cardinal Mark Olette. We will not comment on the matter,” said Rene Tessier, communications officer for the diocese.

class action

In May 2022, Judge Bernard Godbot authorized a class action against the Diocese of Quebec for sexual abuse of more than 101 victims, most of whom were minors at the time of the alleged acts.

The attacks are said to have been carried out by some 88 priests and parishioners since the 1940s.

Each victim will receive up to $600,000 in compensation.

The victims allege that church officials failed in their duty to intervene to prevent a recurrence of the alleged acts.

Excerpts from Request The opening case

Cardinal Mark Ouellette kissed her and said f. In back slides his hand to her butt. The gesture surprises FI who doesn’t know how to react. »

Cardinal Mark Ouellet also takes her hands firmly and insistently and whispers in her ear to remind her of her name. »

Cardinal Mark Ouellet took advantage of a moment set aside for a discussion in the subcommittee to cross the room and sit next to F., who felt chased. »

On that day than in previous meetings, F. Realizing that she must get away from Cardinal Mark Olette as soon as possible, the discomfort she feels is greater than ever. »

F. Concerned because his status as an intern in the Diocese of Quebec and his professional future depend on Cardinal Marc Oulet. […] F. Using university studies or professional commitments as an excuse not to go to risky events to meet Cardinal Mark Ouellet. »