The Pope has decided there are insufficient grounds for a canonical investigation into accusations against Cardinal Ouellet
(For Immediate Release August 18, 2022)
According to a statement released by the Vatican today, Pope Francis has concluded that there are insufficient grounds for a canonical investigation into the accusations of sexual assault against Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet. The Vatican statement noted that the Pope consulted with Father Jacques Servais, who confirmed that position with these words: “There are no grounds to open an investigation into the sexual assault undergone by person ‘F.’ by Cardinal M. Ouellet. Neither in the written report sent to the Holy Father nor in the testimony via Zoom that I subsequently gathered in the presence of a member of the Diocesan Ad Hoc Committee, did this person make any accusation that would provide grounds for such an investigation.”
To us, it appears that the Pope has passed up a perfect chance to demonstrate that even those closest to him, such as Cardinal Ouellet, are not immune to investigation. Person ‘F’ recently came forward as a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Quebec, alleging that she was inappropriately touched by the Cardinal. We simply do not understand why this uninvited action by a high-ranking Catholic official that is the subject of a current lawsuit can be so easily -- and quickly -- dismissed by the Church.
It is disheartening that the Pope continues to refuse to take concrete and meaningful measures to safeguard Catholic children and adults. Dismissing the need for a canonical investigation in this case and concluding that there are "no grounds" for a probe, when the legal case is still in its infancy, belies the claims that the Church will seriously look into accusations against high-ranking Catholic officials.
This announcement, just two days after the allegations were made public, shows the superficiality of the Church's promises to handle such accusations competently. We hope that secular authorities will pick up where the Church has failed and bring justice to all involved in this class action suit.
CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager, (267-261-0578, [email protected]) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected]) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President (814-341-8386, [email protected])
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)