Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix temporarily suspends his activities

The cardinal and archbishop of Quebec, Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, is temporarily withdrawing from his activities “until the situation is clarified”. The day before, the name of the Catholic primate appeared on a list of alleged attackers drawn up as part of a class action brought against the diocese of Quebec.

In the first diocesan reaction issued since the update of the list filed in court, the cardinal “categorically denies” these allegations, which he considers “unfounded”. The press release issued by the diocese Friday afternoon states that Archbishop Lacroix will respond directly in the coming days.

According to court documents presented Thursday to the Superior Court, Gérald Cyprien Lacroix faces allegations of touching, allegedly committed on a victim who was 17 years old at the time of the facts. These actions were allegedly taken in 1987 and 1988: it was this last year that Mgr Lacroix received his ordination to the priesthood.

The man of the Church, born in Beauce in 1957, was 31 years old at the time. He became archbishopric in 2011, three years before Pope Francis appointed him to the cardinalate. Last year, this same pope appointed Gérald Cyprien Lacroix to the council of cardinals, a sort of bodyguard with only nine members who advises him in the governance of the Catholic Church.

The diocese of Quebec assures that “everything will be done” to ensure its mission during the archbishop’s absence. “The diocesan team understands this decision, which it welcomes with sadness,” underlines the message sent to the media. “The diocesan authorities will continue to move forward in the process of collective action, with respect for the truth and with the aim of offering reparation to survivors of sexual abuse. »

The class action brought against the diocese of Quebec now lists 147 alleged victims and actions dating back as far as 1942. The most recent alleged assaults date from 2018. None of the allegations contained in the action have yet been proven before Justice.

The diocese will not make any additional comments in connection with this matter. “Given the judicial context, the diocesan team has chosen to express itself through a press release and will not offer an interview,” concludes its message.

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