Cardinal Ouellet firmly denies accusations of inappropriate conduct
By Vatican News
In a statement released Friday evening, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops, firmly denies accusations of inappropriate conduct alleged to have taken place more than ten years ago, when he was Archbishop of Quebec.
The accusations of inappropriate behaviour – which some media outlets have characterized as sexual assault – were made public earlier this week.
The full text of the Cardinal’s statement reads:
Having learned of the false accusations made against me by the complainant (F.), I firmly deny having made any inappropriate gestures toward her and I consider defamatory the interpretation and dissemination of these allegations as sexual assault. Should a civil investigation be initiated, I will actively participate in it to ensure that the truth is established and that my innocence is recognized.
On Thursday, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, issued a statement declaring that, following the outcome of a preliminary investigation entrusted to Jesuit Father Jacques Servais, Pope Francis had decided there were insufficient grounds to open a canonical investigation of sexual misconduct by Cardinal Ouellet against person ‘F’.
Bruni’s statement notes that Father Servais, having been consulted by the Pope, had affirmed that, “There are no grounds to open an investigation into the sexual assault against 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.”