Cardinal Gérald Lacroix of Québec has announced he will temporarily step aside from his duties, after he was named in court documents in connection with a class-action abuse lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of Québec in 2022. Source: NCR Online.
A January 26 statement from the archdiocese, issued in French, said that the Cardinal would be “temporarily withdrawing from his activities until the situation is clarified”.
According to court documents, two incidents allegedly involving him reportedly occurred in 1987 and 1988 in Québec City, when he was a religious brother. He is accused of inappropriately touching a 17-year-old girl on two occasions. The woman has not been identified.
The archdiocesan statement said Cardinal Lacroix “categorically denies the allegations against him” and considers them “unfounded”.
“In the coming days,” the statement said, “he will send a personal communication” to the archdiocese “which will be relayed to the media.”
The allegations come a year-and-a-half after Cardinal Lacroix’s predecessor, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, was named in the lawsuit for allegedly assaulting a woman between 2008 and 2010.
Cardinal Ouellet has denied Paméla Groleau’s accusations and launched a lawsuit against her, accusing her of defaming him.
Neither cardinal has been criminally charged.
In total, 147 alleged victims have joined the civil suit against the Archdiocese of Québec, which covers claims of abuse dating back to 1940. Fifteen other people associated with the archdiocese have been named in the court documents. The lawsuit also names the Seminary of Québec.
The law firm representing alleged victims said they have testified against more than 100 priests or employees.