Court condemns Papabile Cardinal for ‘infamous’ dismissal of French nun

Cardinal Ouellet

A civil court in Lorient, France, has ruled against Cardinal Ouellet (pictured) and the Dominicans of the Holy Spirit, holding them responsible for the unjust expulsion of a religious sister from her community.

The court found that Cardinal Marc Ouellet dismissed Mother Marie Ferréol from her religious house in Brittany without sufficient cause.

Ferréol, who had been part of the community since 1987, was abruptly removed in 2021. Her dismissal followed an apostolic visitation led by Ouellet.

The religious sister experienced an expulsion described by the court as “infamous and vexatious” without having committed “the slightest offence”.

The court said the dismissal was based on “non-established motives” adding that she was “sent back to lay life without mercy”.

The court ordered the congregation to pay Sister Marie €32,000 (NZ$57,500) in relief. It also ordered over €192,000 (NZ$345,000) for material and moral damages.

Lack of impartiality

The French court’s ruling argued that there was no evidence that Ferréol’s removal had been carried out according to the community’s statutes.

“It has not been demonstrated that the decree…signed by Ouellet…would have received any papal approval” the ruling stated.

The court also said that Ouellet should not have presided over this disciplinary investigation.

It said Ouellet had a friendship with “one of the sisters of the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Spirit, whose positions were notoriously opposed to those” of Sister Marie.

“Cardinal Ouellet was found to have committed an abuse of rights and a lack of impartiality” the sister’s lawyer, Adeline Le Gouvello, said in a press release.

In a statement, Le Gouvello said that “this decision brings great relief” to the religious sister she represents.

“Justice has been able to objectively note that an injustice had been committed, an abuse of power proven” Le Gouvello said.

According to La Croix International, “the convicted parties have announced that they will appeal today’s decision”.

In 2021, La Croix International’s Robert Mickens identified Ouellet as the leading conservative candidate to succeed Pope Francis.

“The strongest candidate in the anti-Francis camp still appears to be Cardinal Marc Ouellet, 77, who has been head of the powerful Congregation for Bishops the past 11 years.

“He’s carefully downplayed and even hidden his more traditionalist views, which line up almost identically with those of Benedict XVI,” wrote Mickens.


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