Sexual Assault Allegations | Cleared by the Vatican, Cardinal Lacroix will remain in the background

Sexual Assault Allegations | Cleared by the Vatican, Cardinal Lacroix will remain in the background
Sexual Assault Allegations | Cleared by the Vatican, Cardinal Lacroix will remain in the background

Cleared following a Vatican investigation into allegations of sexual assault against him, Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix has announced that he will not take over the reins of the Archdiocese of Quebec, at least for the moment


Posted at 5:33 p.m.

Updated at 5:45 p.m.

“I have voluntarily chosen to remain discreet by continuing the temporary withdrawal from my public ministry as archbishop of Quebec. I will re-evaluate my decision periodically,” he explains in a video posted online Thursday.

The Vatican had entrusted former Quebec Superior Court judge André Denis with responsibility for investigating allegations of sexual assault made against Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix. The facts date back to 1987-1988. The alleged victim, who chose to remain anonymous, was 17 years old at the time.

At the end of his investigation, André Denis gave Pope Francis a document in which he concluded that he did not have sufficient elements to justify holding a canonical trial. The Vatican therefore cleared the cardinal.

While recalling the judge’s conclusions, Gérald Cyprien Lacroix reiterated his innocence on Thursday while saying he hoped “that light be shed completely and completely on the allegations that I have been accused of”.

“I also invite the complainant to contact Judge Denis as he suggested or to file a criminal complaint against me so that a proper trial can take place. The community has the right to know whether the acts I am accused of took place or not and I wish to have my testimony heard. »

The name of Cardinal Lacroix was found in legal documents filed on January 26 as part of a class action brought by alleged victims of sexual assault against the Archdiocese of Quebec.

The pope then asked André Denis to look into the allegations against the cardinal, denied by him. This is the first time in the recent history of the Church that the Vatican has chosen someone outside the clergy to lead such an internal investigation.

In interview with The Press,Me Alain Arsenault, civil law lawyer and representative of the class action, however maintained that this procedure would have “no consequences” on the civil trial.


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