Targeted by allegations of gestures of a sexual nature, Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix broadcast a video message to the diocesans in which he categorically denies having “made any inappropriate gestures towards anyone”.
The name of Cardinal Lacroix, 66, recently appeared in court documents where he is the target of allegations of sexual gestures in the context of the class action brought against his diocese.
I categorically deny the allegations made public. Never, to my knowledge, have I made any inappropriate actions towards anyone, whether minors or adults. My soul and my conscience are at peace in the face of these accusations which I refute.
A quote from Mgr Gérald Cyprien Lacroix
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The archbishop announced a few days ago that he was temporarily stepping down from his duties. This is not a resignation, but a temporary withdrawal to allow us to better evaluate the next steps to take and consider the decisions to be made, explains Mgr Lacroix.
The cardinal, who said he was affected by the events, affirms that he will respect the process of collective action in progress. For us, this is fundamental. We will continue to devote all our efforts to this.
Gérald Cyprien Lacroix deplores, however, that the firm Arsenault Dufresne Wee Avocats, responsible for a class action targeting the diocese of Quebec, has ended the negotiations initiated within the framework of a proposed amicable settlement conference by the Superior Court.
Since his name is found in the list of alleged attackers, the cardinal indicates that he feels in an ambiguous situation.
I consider that this temporary withdrawal could help ensure that possible future negotiations within the framework of the collective action are not disrupted, but on the contrary move towards a settlement, he adds. However, I fear that this decision will unduly extend the time before the redress that survivors of sexual abuse have been waiting for too long.
The Diocese of Quebec takes note of the decision and the declaration of Gérald Cyprien Lacroix.
Although the nature of what is being accused remains unclear and the identity of the complainant is unknown, Diocese officials have begun the internal process within the Church provided for in the motu proprio
Vos estis lux mundi, writes the Diocese of Quebec, in a press release.
These are directives from Pope Francis which aim to denounce and prevent sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The step of reporting to the Holy Father has been completed and we will await the outcome of the current process, adds the Diocese.
The Diocese is also saddened by the end of negotiations with the law firm Arsenault, Dufresne, Wee.
We remind you that at any time during the process, an amicable settlement is possible. Our door is open, we are fully prepared to offer a settlement that would be based on precedents in such matters.
The responsible law firm of the class action finds the cardinal's public outing surprising.
According to Me Alain Arsenault, the two parties signed a confidentiality agreement on the content of the amicable settlement conference proposed by the Superior Court. Saying that the firm has withdrawn contravenes this agreement, believes the lawyer. I would love to comment on this information, but I have signed confidentiality agreements. If they do that, that's where for me, they're in panic mode.
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