Bishop Lacroix wants “light to be shed” on the allegations concerning him

Bishop Lacroix wants “light to be shed” on the allegations concerning him
Bishop Lacroix wants “light to be shed” on the allegations concerning him

MONTREAL — After being cleared by the Vatican earlier this week, Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix addressed the diocesans of Quebec in a video on Thursday, announcing that he would remain in the background and hoping that the facts would be clarified.

Archbishop of Quebec since 2011 and among the most influential Catholic figures in Canada, Mgr Lacroix was cleared on Tuesday by the Vatican of allegations of sexual touching made against him by an anonymous complainant as part of a class action brought against the archdiocese from Quebec.

In a video published Thursday on the YouTube channel of the Catholic Church of Quebec, Mgr Lacroix once again proclaims his innocence and says he is grateful to the pope and the Church for having put in place “mechanisms” to deal with the issues of sexual abuse.

He also indicates that he will remain withdrawn from his public ministry as archbishop of Quebec. A decision that he will re-evaluate “periodically”, he says.

“Let there be light”

Above all, Mgr Lacroix invites the anonymous complainant who made allegations of sexual touching against him as part of a class action to file a criminal complaint against him so that a “proper” trial can take place.

“I reiterate my innocence, but above all I insist on my wish that light be shed completely and completely on the allegations with which I am accused. […] The community has the right to know whether the acts with which I am accused took place or not,” declared Mgr Lacroix.

“Survivors of sexual abuse deserve that we do what is necessary so that they receive reparation that will help them heal and rebuild,” he adds about the collective action.

The archbishop also urges the complainant to contact the judge mandated by the Vatican, former Superior Court judge André Denis, so that she can share her testimony with him and so that he can complete his investigation.

The anonymous complainant, who says she was the victim of touching by Mgr Lacroix between 1987 and 1988, did not in fact wish to participate in the investigation led by Judge Denis.

His lawyer, Me Alain Arsenault, judged on Tuesday that the investigation report of the judge mandated by the Vatican meant “nothing”. He also indicated that his client had not wished to participate “in the private system of justice of the Vatican”. Collective action will take its course, he declared.

Bishop Lacroix, who has always denied the allegations against him, concludes his video message by affirming that the Church takes the issue of sexual abuse seriously and hears the suffering of the victims.

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