Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet denies sexual assault allegations

Ouellet, a prominent figure in the Catholic Church, has “strongly” denied allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in Quebec.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada has denied he sexually assaulted a woman while he was archbishop of Quebec City more than 10 years ago, a day after the Vatican incident. Say There is not enough evidence to launch an investigation.

Ouellet was named in a class-action lawsuit that was first made public this week, accusing the church’s clergy and staff Quebec Catholic archdiocese that have committed sexual assaults since the 1940s.

“I categorically deny inappropriate gestures towards her people, and I believe it is defamatory to interpret and disseminate these allegations as sexual assault,” Ouellet said in a statement Friday, his first public disclosure of the allegations Comment.

“After learning of the complainant’s false accusation against me, I firmly deny making inappropriate gestures towards her.”

Weeks later, the lawsuit puts the Catholic Church in the spotlight in Canada francis Visit the country to apologise for church abuse indigenous Boarding school children.

Ouellet accompanied the pope on the visit and is considered a potential successor by experts.

Canadian media report More than 100 victims have claimed in legal documents that they were victims of sexual assault, mostly when they were minors, mostly in the 1950s and 1960s.

The lawsuit alleges that Ouellet, 78, made contacts and inappropriate comments about a former pastoral intern between 2008 and 2010.

The plaintiff of Ouellet, identified in court documents as “F”, told colleagues about one of the alleged incidents, the complaint said.

The Vatican has been aware of the charges against Ouellet since 2021, but said this week that a preliminary review found insufficient evidence to justify an investigation.

Ouellet has said he will fight the charges if the lawsuit goes ahead.

“If a civil investigation is opened, I intend to participate actively in order to establish the truth and admit my innocence,” he said in a statement on Friday.

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