Vatican's Cardinal Ouellet of Canada Among Several Clergy Accused of Abuse in New Lawsuit

Cardinal Ouellet, Vatican official, is among several clergy accused of abuse in lawsuit
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of Vatican's Dicastery of Bishops, has been named in a list of alleged abusers in a class-action lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of Quebec. 
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, is a close adviser to Pope Francis, and was once considered as a possible candidate for the pontificate. 
Ouellet was appointed to his current position by Pope Benedict XVI.
Radio Canada reports allegations filed by one complainant, a young laywoman, that were released and concerning the cardinal. “On different occasions, Cardinal Ouellet held her against him, massaged her shoulders and vigorously caressed her back ‘down to the place where the buttocks are joined,’ each time provoking a deep discomfort in the young intern.” 
 The laywoman who was employed as a pastoral worker in 2008, when the cardinal was archbishop of Quebec. Court documents filed Aug. 16 indicate the actions consisted in “nonconsensual touching of a sexual nature.”
Another bishop appears in the list. Auxiliary Bishop Jean-Paul Labrie, who died in 2001, served in the Quebec Archdiocese from 1977 to 1995. In his case, the alleged abuse occurred in 1968 when he was the superior of the seminary of Saint-Victor de Beauce in Quebec.
The class-action suit was authorized by a judge of the Superior Court of Quebec May 19. It was filed on behalf of all “people having been sexually abused by a member of the diocesan clergy” or “by a religious, a lay pastoral staff member, an employee, and a lay or religious volunteer” under the responsibility of the Quebec Archdiocese between January 1, 1940, and the upcoming ruling in the case.
The archdiocese originally asked that the names of the alleged abusers identified by 101 plaintiffs not be disclosed. 
The lawsuit includes the names of priests associated with the Quebec seminary, as well as those serving in the archdiocese, in parishes and at educational institutions. Most of those named are deceased. Many of the victims were younger than 18 at the time of the first alleged abuse.
Archdiocesan authorities were informed in January 2021 of the allegations against Cardinal Ouellet.  A leader of the Archdiocesan Committee for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons even asked the victim to personally write a letter to Pope Francis.
An email from the Vatican Feb. 23, 2021, acknowledged that the pope read the letter and that he had appointed an investigator to the case: Jesuit Father Jacques Servais, rector of the Casa Balthasar in Rome, a residence for young people discerning a call to religious life and for theology students.
It was 10 years later, following a workshop on sexual abuse, that the pastoral worker “understood that the actions of Cardinal Ouellet were nonconsensual touching of a sexual nature, and therefore a sexual aggression,” the document said.
The young woman is one of 101 people who contacted the Arsenault Dufresne Wee Avocats law firm since May when the class-action suit was authorized by Superior Court Judge Bernard Godbout.
The representative plaintiffs are Gaétan Bégin and Pierre Bolduc. Both men claim to have been assaulted by their respective parish priest over 50 ago.
Bégin recalled in the lawsuit that in 1960, his father and a doctor went to the archdiocesan offices to denounce the abuse committed by Father Rosaire Giguère. The offending priest was at first sent away “to rest,” before being transferred to another parish. Father Giguère died in 1974. 
Bolduc said in the court filing he was abused for the first time at the rectory of a parish in Robertsonville a few hours after a movie outing offered by his pastor, Father Jean-Marie Bégin, a priest who had been active within Catholic Action movements. 
In 1986, Father Bégin, 60, hanged himself at his cottage in Coleraine.
The archdiocese declined to comment on the lawsuit.
“A press release will be issued at a later date,” said the assistant to Auxiliary Bishop Marc Pelchat, who is responsible for the Archdiocesan Committee for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons.
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Sources: CNS By: François Gloutnay and Radio Canada