He is considered a close confidant of Pope Francis and some already see him as his future successor. Now Canadian Cardinal Lacroix temporarily suspends all offices. There are old charges against him.
Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, 66, the archbishop of Quebec, Canada, is stepping down from all posts for the time being after allegations of sexual abuse. “He categorically denies the accusations leveled against him since yesterday and considers them to be baseless,” the Quebec archbishop said Friday (local time). The Cardinal's personal statement will follow in the coming days.
On Thursday, Canadian media reported on the allegations against Lacroix. The church's top cleric in Canada allegedly sexually touched a 17-year-old girl during two Bible meetings between 1987 and 1988. Accordingly, Lacroix's name appears in court documents as part of a larger class action lawsuit. The archbishop pledged to continue working to clear up cases of abuse and provide reparations to victims.
Lacroix and the Vatican
Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec since 2011, holds key positions at the Vatican in addition to his episcopate and his honorary role as Primate of the Catholic Church in Canada. Appointed a cardinal by Francis in 2014, he is a close adviser to the pope as a member of the so-called Council of Cardinals. The Council of Cardinals should support Francis in reforming the curia and government of the universal church.
Lacroix has been North America's representative on the council since 2023. He is also a member of several Vatican bodies, such as the Council for Culture and Education, the Laity, Family and Life, and the Vatican Economic Council. His name has long floated in the Canadian media as a possible successor to Francis, 87.
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