CV NEWS FEED // A Canadian Cardinal announced that he would be temporarily stepping down after he was named as a perpetrator in a recent class action lawsuit alleging sexual abuse.
The Archdiocese of Quebec announced on Friday, January 26, that its leader, Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, would be stepping down temporarily after he was named in a sexual abuse class action lawsuit. The archdiocese said that Cardinal Lacroix denied the allegations.
“Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix has just announced to his main collaborators that he is temporarily withdrawing from his activities until the situation is clarified. He categorically denies the allegations against him since yesterday, which he considers unfounded,” said the press release.
The class action lawsuit named over 101 alleged victims and accused numerous former priests of the Archdiocese of Quebec as perpetrators, including Cardinal Lacroix. Gaétan Bégin (82) and Pierre Bolduc (65), two men, filed the lawsuit on the grounds that they allege that priests sexually molested them when they were children.
The class action lawsuit defines the victims as:
All people, as well as their heirs and beneficiaries, who have been sexually assaulted by members of the clergy or lay pastoral staff, by employees or volunteers, lay or religious, under the responsibility of the archiepiscopal corporation Roman Catholic of Quebec and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Quebec, having exercised their authority over the Diocese of Quebec, during the period between January 1, 1940, and the judgment to be intervened.
Lacroix is one of over 132 alleged perpetrators listed. Accusations are listed from parishes all across the Archdiocese of Quebec, which spans over 15 cities and multiple small towns.
Currently, there is no trial date set, and the investigation remains ongoing.
The archdiocese said that diocesean officials would continue to conduct their own investigation into the accusations against Lacroix.
“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,” said the Archdiocese of Lacroix.