Due to inadequate evidence, the Vatican has decided not to look into allegations of sexual misconduct against one of its top cardinals. In his home province of Quebec, 80 clergy members were listed in a class-action lawsuit that named Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet as a defendant.
Between 2008 and 2010, a former diocesan intern claimed the Cardinal touched her impermissibly while in public. Regarding the allegations, Cardinal Ouellet has not responded.
The Cardinal is not being charged with a crime, and the claims have not been proven in court. The accusations were made public in a statement of claim made against the Catholic Diocese of Quebec on Tuesday in Canada.
The woman, who in the case goes by the initial F, accused Cardinal Ouellet of touching her indecently and without her permission on the shoulders, hugging her, kissing her on the cheek, and sliding his hand down her back, towards her buttocks.
A priest was tasked with investigating her complaint, which was also submitted directly to the Vatican in January 2021, according to the filing. The Vatican declared on Thursday that there are not enough grounds to launch a canonical investigation of Cardinal Ouellet, which examines if Catholic Church law has been broken.
The woman’s attorney stated that his client is “extremely upset” with the Vatican for choosing not to investigate the allegations.
He noted that prior to Thursday’s pronouncement, the Vatican had not gotten in touch with his client to let her know of its choice regarding Cardinal Ouellet.
More than 101 individuals who claim to have been sexually molested by Quebec clergy are represented in the legal complaint. The claims go back to 1940. Some claimants claim they were juveniles at the time of the assaults.
The most well-known representative of the Roman Catholic Church named in the action is Cardinal Ouellet.
He is among the most influential cardinals in the Vatican and ran for the pope in the most recent election. He has been in charge of the Congregation for Bishops, which guides the Pope in selecting bishops around the world, since 2010.