Marc Ouellet case: Pamela Groleau says she's not the only one

Marc Ouellet case: Pamela Groleau says she's not the only one

Marc Ouellet case: Pamela Groleau maintains that she’s not the only one

Cardinal Marc Ouellet during a conference organized at the Vatican on May 2, 2015.

Pamela Groleau, the woman who claims to have been sexually touched by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, is defending herself in the defamation lawsuit he has brought against her. His lawyers allege that two other women suffered similar acts from the former archbishop of Quebec. These allegations are found in court documents of which Radio-Canada obtained a copy and which form part of Ms. Groleau's defence.

From the start, the cardinal has denied all these allegations, in addition to having mentioned that the acts of which he is accused do not constitute sexual assault. The man who was one of Pope Francis' close advisers has launched a defamation suit against Ms. Groleau, from whom he is claiming $100,000 in damages for damage to her reputation.

In the context of their defense, Pamela Groleau's lawyers have filed letters written by two women who also allege that they have suffered inappropriate acts from the religious. Until now, these documents were subject to a publication ban.

The first woman, whose name is redacted, says that one Sunday in 1992, she was responsible for preparing mass at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal.

When I was preparing the books, the celebrant, Marc Ouellet, […] stood behind me and, with both hands on the table on either side of me so as to prevent me from pulling away, he rubbed her pelvis on me,” she wrote in a letter dated January 2023 and addressed to Ms. Groleau's lawyer.

She adds that she authorizes him to use this letter to help other potential victims of Cardinal Ouellet.

The second woman, whose identity is also concealed, explains in detail in two letters, one addressed to Pope Francis and the other sent directly to Cardinal Ouellet, the nature of the gestures he allegedly made and the discomfort that she would have felt afterwards.

According to one of the letters, she met Marc Ouellet for the first time in 2004, during a summer camp he hosted for young people. She would later see him again in 2006, where he would hug her. It was then, she says, that she had a meaningful encounter with God.

They would have subsequently maintained a fairly regular correspondence. I kind of felt like his granddaughter. I saw him a bit like a grandpa, she continues. She confides that it often happened during their meetings that they held hands for about thirty minutes or that he gave her several fairly long hugs.

During n an evening in 2014, when her boyfriend was also present, she said she felt uncomfortable when Cardinal Ouellet allegedly slipped a $50 bill into her waistcoat after the couple spoke to her of his financial problems.

The evening went well, but when it came time to say goodbye, during the second hug, Mgr hastened to slip a $50 [bill] into my waistcoat next to the top of my chest. I froze in place and he quit, reads the letter to Pope Francis.

After this incident, she writes that she remembered another moment that occurred shortly after Marc Ouellet was appointed to Rome. This one would have slipped his hand from his shoulder to his heart. In fact, I wasn't sure at the time if it was my heart he wanted or my chest. […] I was not at ease but I had said nothing, nor done anything, she wrote.

Following an article published in the French Catholic magazine Golias Hebdo in January 2023, Radio-Canada had confirmed the existence of another complaint lodged against Cardinal Ouellet in the Vatican.

The story of Marie, a pseudonym, showed that the pope dismissed the complaint after a preliminary investigation. Although no details on the actions of this high-ranking clergyman have been revealed, the Golias Hebdo article is also cited as evidence in the defense of Pamela Groleau.< /p>

Recall that Ms. Groleau, first known by the pseudonym “F”, came out of the shadows in January 2023. In the media, she accused of sexual touching the one who was the highest-ranking Quebecer in the Vatican when he was archbishop of Quebec and, she, an intern in the diocese of Quebec.

Marc Ouellet would have held her against him and caressed her lower back during public functions, which would have caused great discomfort in the young woman, who was 24 years old at the time. Marc Ouellet faces no criminal charges.

She is one of 130 plaintiffs in a class action against nearly a hundred religious and laity in the diocese of Quebec for assaults allegedly committed between 1942 and 2018.