The prominent Quebec cardinal has denied the sexual assault allegations against him included in a class action lawsuit formally filed in the Quebec High Court this week.
According to Vatican News, the Holy See’s official news portal, Cardinal Marc Ouellet said the allegations were false and that it was defamatory to interpret his alleged behavior as sexual assault.
A woman identified as “F” in court documents. Between 2008 and 2010, she was accused of several sexual assault incidents, including slipping her hand into her back and touching her buttocks at an event in Quebec City. was accused.
Ouellet, who now heads an organization that advises the Pope on the appointment of bishops, was Archbishop of Quebec at the time of the alleged incident. The allegations against him have not been proven in court.
The cardinal added that he would “actively participate” in the civil investigation so that his innocence could be established.
The Vatican news agency said Thursday that Pope Francis has ruled out further investigation of the allegations against Ouellet due to a lack of evidence.
Ouellet, who was once considered a frontrunner to become pope, said he was “aware of the false accusations” and “strongly denies any inappropriate gestures towards her”.