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Class-action lawsuit alleges sexual misconduct by distinguished Quebec cardinal and priest

CNN  — 

A category-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of greater than 100 victims of sexual assault courting again to the 1940s by the hands of members of Quebec’s Roman Catholic Archiepiscopal Company and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Quebec.

In that lawsuit, a lady recognized as “F” alleges she was touched in opposition to her will by Cardinal Marc Ouellet and compelled to carry out intercourse acts on one other priest, Father Leopold Manirabarusha.

“F” stated she met Ouellet throughout dinner in 2008 whereas serving as an intern for the Diocese of Quebec, in line with the lawsuit. She claimed within the authorized submitting that later that night she “feels two palms land on her shoulders and start to therapeutic massage her shoulders with drive. F appears as much as see that it’s Cardinal Marc Ouellet who stands behind her and massages her shoulders. Cardinal Marc Ouellet smiles at her and strokes her again earlier than leaving.”

Within the lawsuit, “F” stated the incident was intrusive and left her feeling uneasy.

In one other incident in 2008, “F’” got here in touch with Ouellet once more, in line with the lawsuit. One other priest requested if he knew “F”, in line with the submitting, “to which he replies very loudly that they each know one another very nicely. Cardinal Marc Ouellet then casually kisses ‘F,’ although that they had solely seen one another a few times earlier than, and holds her firmly in opposition to him whereas stroking her again along with his palms,” in line with the lawsuit.

“F” claimed one of many final occasions she got here in touch with Ouellet was in February 2010. In keeping with the lawsuit, Ouellet instructed her he may kiss her once more as a result of “there isn’t a hurt in spoiling your self a little bit.”

“F” stated she didn’t say something as a result of she was anxious her internship {and professional} future relied on Ouellet, in line with the lawsuit.

After attending a coaching on sexual assault, “F” began having flashbacks of what she stated she had skilled with Cardinal Marc Ouellet, in line with the lawsuit. She realized that Ouellet’s interactions together with her constituted touching of a sexual nature with out consent and subsequently sexual assault, in line with the lawsuit, and determined to inform her new companion and some feminine buddies.

Certainly one of these buddies suggested her to speak to the Advisory Committee for Sexual Abuse of Minors and Susceptible Folks of the Catholic Church of Quebec about these sexual assaults, in line with the lawsuit.

A press release launched by Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press workplace, stated a preliminary investigation carried out by Fr. Jacques Servais, S.I., on the Pope’s request, concluded “that there are not any components to provoke a trial in opposition to Cardinal Ouellet for sexual assault.”

“Following additional pertinent consultations, Pope Francis declares that there are inadequate components to open a canonical investigation for sexual assault by Cardinal Ouellet in opposition to the particular person F,” Bruni stated within the assertion

The Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec acknowledged the allegations made within the lawsuit in opposition to Cardinal Ouellet however stated it has no remark.

Moreover, within the lawsuit, “F” described sexual assaults by one other priest of the Diocese of Quebec, Father Leopold Manirabarusha.

“F” alleged she was compelled to carry out intercourse acts for Manirabarusha whereas she was an worker of the diocese, in line with the submitting. She alleged within the lawsuit that at some point Manirabarusha took her to his library and made it clear he anticipated her to carry out oral intercourse on him. “F” complied along with his calls for, seeing no different manner out.

On about 15 completely different events, in line with the lawsuit, Manirabarusha sexually assaulted her in numerous locations, together with church property and a lodge.

The Archdiocese of Quebec confirmed Manirabarusha remains to be a Catholic priest and stated, “however he has been off-duty for a suspension because the starting of April. So, till the entire affair is settled, he can not have any pastoral intervention with folks.”

Cardinal Marc Ouellet has been probably the most distinguished Vatican cardinals for over a decade. His identify was raised through the Conclave of 2013 as a potential Pope, in line with CNN reporting from the time.

He has headed the highly effective Vatican workplace of Bishops since 2010. The workplace is chargeable for vetting and overseeing Catholic bishops worldwide and works carefully with Pope Francis. Cardinal Ouellet sometimes meets weekly with the Pope to maintain him knowledgeable of developments in his workplace, in line with revealed bulletins of the Pope’s conferences.

In 2019, upon turning 75, Ouellet submitted his resignation to Pope Francis as required by Vatican legislation, however Francis didn’t settle for it, as CNN has confirmed that Ouellet stays in his place.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, in an electronic mail to CNN, stated it’s unable to substantiate if there’s a legal investigation and that investigations are normally confirmed if and when legal fees are beneficial in opposition to somebody.

CNN has reached out to the Quebec Metropolis Director of Felony and Penal Prosecutions about potential legal investigations and was instructed through electronic mail it has no public info regarding this case for the second.

SNAP, the Survivors Community of these Abused by Clergymen, which has been offering assist for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years, launched a press release saying: “We applaud the bravery of all of the victims who’re concerned on this case for coming ahead and hope they can obtain the justice and therapeutic they deserve. We particularly acknowledge that given the prominence of the person who she has accused, the alleged sufferer of Cardinal Ouellet will little question obtain intense public scrutiny, and we acknowledge that for her to have come ahead has taken appreciable braveness.”

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