Pope orders investigation of Canadian cardinal for alleged sexual abuse in 1980s

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Pope Francis has ordered the opening of a preliminary investigation into an alleged case of sexual abuse committed in the 1980s by one of his close collaborators, Cardinal Gérald Lacroix.

The Cardinal is accused of allegedly sexually abusing a 17-year-old woman between 1987 and 1988 in Quebec. He was in his last year of seminary.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of Quebec stated the Pope has entrusted the investigation to a retired Canadian judge, André Denis. They explain the following:

The Diocese will offer its full cooperation to Mr. Denis at his request, but will not intervene in the course of the investigation or in its conclusions.

Cardinal Lacroix has been a member of the Council of Cardinals since March 2023. This group of cardinals advises the Pope in governing the Church. And the cardinal released a video denying the allegation.

Archbishop of Quebec, Canada

I would like to reiterate that I categorically deny the allegations that have been made public. To my knowledge, I have never made any inappropriate gesture towards anyone, whether a minor or an adult. My soul and conscience are at peace with these accusations, which I refute. Although my heart and mind are at peace, I must also confess that I am deeply affected, like many of you, by the extent of the damage caused by these unfounded allegations. I am committed to respecting the judicial process of the ongoing class action.

On January 26, the Archdiocese of Quebec issued another statement saying the Cardinal was “temporarily withdrawing from his diocesan activities until the situation is resolved.”

If, after this investigation, there is evidence to support these allegations, the next step would be a canonical trial.


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