March 20, 2023

Marc Ouellet, a Canadian cardinal holding one of the highest posts in the Vatican’s government, resigned on Monday due to his age, the Vatican announced. He is charged with sexual assault.

Accused of sexual assault, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet resigned Monday, January 30, from his high office in the Vatican for reasons of age. Pope Francis has accepted “the renunciation, due to the age limit, of his eminence, Cardinal Marc Ouellet”, indicates a press release from the Vatican.

His successor, the American Robert Francis Prevost, will take office on April 12.

In August 2022, the 78-year-old cardinal, prefect of the dicastery of bishops, was accused of inappropriate touching of an intern between 2008 and 2010 when he was archbishop of Quebec, according to a document resulting from the class action authorized by the Superior Court of the French-speaking province.

Ready to prove “his innocence”

Bishop Ouellet had “firmly denied” these “defamatory” accusations, saying he was ready to participate in a trial to prove “his innocence”.

Pope Francis then considered that there were “insufficient elements to open a canonical investigation (religious, editor’s note)” in this file.

And in December, Bishop Ouellet said he was filing a defamation suit against the woman who accused him of sexual assault.

The diocese of Quebec also confirmed to AFP on Monday the existence of a second complaint against the cardinal filed by a woman in 2020, a complaint revealed two weeks ago by the weekly Golias.

Marc Ouellet was cited among the favorites of the last conclave at the end of which the Argentinian cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope in 2013.

With AFP

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