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 Vatican was informed of the allegations against Ouellet in 2021, after which the Pope appointed Father Jacques Servais to investigate the accusations.
Matteo Bruni, head of the Vatican press office, said in a written statement on Thur. that there are "insufficient elements to open a canonical investigation for sexual assault" by the Cardinal against an unnamed person, identified as 'F' in court.
Ouellet, 78, currently serves as prefect for the Congregation of Bishops - a job that advises on which priests should be appointed bishops - and was once considered a well-qualified candidate to be pope.
The class-actions lawsuit contains allegations of sexual misconduct by around 88 priests and staff members from 1940 and onwards.
Narrative A, as provided by National Catholic Register. 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, as provided by Catholic Philly. 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.