Cardinal accused of sex assault quits Vatican job

The Vatican announced on Monday that Canadian cardinal Marc Ouellet, who has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman, has stepped down from a top Holy See position due to his age.

Ouellet, 78, who has strongly denied the allegations leveled against him, is stepping down as head of the Vatican's Dicastery for Bishops, the Vatican announced.

Pope Francis "accepted the resignation presented due to (the cardinal's) reaching the age limit," according to a Vatican statement.

The Canadian, who was once considered a strong candidate for Pope, has been accused of abusing a female intern while he was archbishop of Quebec from 2008 to 2010.

In August, he was named in court documents in connection with a class action suit involving more than 80 members of the clergy in the Archdiocese of Quebec.

In December, Ouellet said he had filed a defamation suit against the woman who accused him, "to restore my reputation".

The #MeToo sex scandal wave has shaken the Nobel Literature Academy.
He is also facing a second complaint from a woman in 2020, which was first reported by the French weekly Golias earlier this month and confirmed by the Diocese of Quebec on Monday.

A diocese spokesperson told AFP that the complaint had been forwarded to the Vatican.

As prefect, Ouellet was in charge of the Vatican office that recommended bishop appointments to the Pope.

US Bishop Robert Francis Prevost will take his place.

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