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Cardinal Ouellet sentenced in France for the dismissal of a sister

Photo: Tiziana Fabi Archives Agence France-Presse Cardinal Marc Ouellet, alongside Pope Francis, in February 2022 at the Vatican

Jean-François Nadeau

10:59 p.m.

  • Europe

A French civil court on April 3 convicted Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Dominican Community of the Holy Spirit and two Vatican investigators for the dismissal of a nun, Sister Marie Ferréol. This dismissal was “without cause”, according to what she said.

Prefect Emeritus of the Dicastery for Bishops, Cardinal Ouellet is condemned jointly with the parties involved to pay the equivalent of $50,000 as a “duty of relief” for the benefit of the dismissed nun. Cardinal Ouellet, the two representatives of the Vatican and the Dominican community must also pay the equivalent of $270,000 for his material damage, and $15,000 for his moral damage.

“It has not been demonstrated that the decree of exclaustration [i.e. the departure of a religious from his community], signed by Cardinal Ouellet […] would have received any pontifical approval”, according to what the court notes in its judgment, which Agence France-Presse cited.

The magistrate responsible for the case, Armelle Picard, was surprised not to have access to the file against the Vatican, reports the daily Le Monde. The lawyer who represented Rome affirmed that “there is no right of access to the file in canonical matters.”

Sister Marie Ferréol had lived in this community since 1987. From 2011, she would have denounced “serious abuses and facts”, observed her lawyer, Me Adeline Le Gouvello. It was from there that his situation deteriorated.

At the time of the acts alleged against the nun, Cardinal Marc Ouellet was acting as prefect of the Dicastery for bishops at the Vatican. Due to an age limit, he resigned from this high Vatican office in January 2023. In Quebec, Cardinal Ouellet made headlines in a sexual assault case.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116