Pope Rules Out Sexual Misconduct Probe of Canadian Cardinal

Photo: CNS [via Catholic Philly]

The Facts

  • The Vatican has stated that it will not probe accusations of sexual misconduct against one of its Cardinals due to insufficient evidence.

  • Cardinal Marc Ouellet, an adviser to the Pope, has been accused of sexual misconduct between 2008-2010 in a class-action lawsuit filed earlier this week in the Quebec Superior Court.

The Spin

Narrative A

While the allegations against Ouellet are serious, they are just that; allegations. The Pope rightly and quickly launched an investigation that found there to be insufficient evidence to support the claims. The church must now address the class-action lawsuit and do its utmost to ensure justice.

Narrative B

The preliminary investigation goes directly against Pope Francis' 2019 motu proprio, which states that investigations must be free from conflict of interest. Father Jacques Servais, a colleague of Ouellet, would have likely had a hard time remaining impartial, thus invalidating the "investigation." The decision to drop any subsequent probes is yet another failure by the Pope Francis to adequately address allegations of misconduct.

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