|Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops|
|Appointed||30 June 2010|
|Predecessor||Giovanni Battista Re|
|Ordination||25 May 1968
by Gaston Hains
|Consecration||19 March 2001
by Pope John Paul II
|Created Cardinal||21 October 2003
by Pope John Paul II
|Birth name||Marc Armund Ouellet|
8 June 1944 |
La Motte, Quebec, Canada
|Parents||Pierre Ouellet and Graziella Michaud|
|Motto||Ut unum sint (That they may be one)
— John 17:21
|Coat of arms|
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
Marc Armand Ouellet,[a] P.S.S. (born 8 June 1944), is a Canadian Cardinal prelate of the Catholic Church. He is the current prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and concurrently president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 30 June 2010. Previously, he was Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada. He was elevated to the cardinalate by Pope John Paul II on 21 October 2003. Ouellet was considered a contender to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned on 28 February 2013.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professor and theologian
- 3 Bishop
- 4 Archbishop
- 5 Cardinal
- 6 Roman Curia
- 7 Views
- 8 Distinctions
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Ouellet was born on 8 June 1944 into a Catholic family of eight children in La Motte, Quebec. His father, Pierre, was a farmer who was self-taught, and later director-general of the area's school board. Young Ouellet attended mass at Église Saint-Luc (now a community centre) regularly with his family. In retrospect, Ouellet has described his family as religious but not very devout. His childhood interests included reading, ice hockey, hunting partridge, and fishing. One of his summer jobs was fighting forest fires. While recovering from a hockey injury at age 17, he read Thérèse of Lisieux and started a more focused search for meaning. Pierre was reluctant about the idea of his son entering the priesthood, but it was while still a teenager that Marc told him he had made a firm decision. He was ordained in 1968 at Eglise Saint-Luc. He became vicar at the Saint-Sauveur church in nearby Val-d'Or. In 1970 he left for South America to teach philosophy at the Major Seminary of Bogotá.
Professor and theologian
Ouellet spent most of his priestly career as a professor and a rector in seminaries. He is an alumnus of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas Angelicum in Rome where he earned a license in philosophy in 1976. He also earned a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University (1982).
Ouellet was named titular archbishop of Agropoli and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity on 3 March 2001. Pope John Paul II consecrated him as a bishop, with cardinals Angelo Sodano and Giovanni Battista Re as co-consecrators, on 19 March 2001 at St. Peter's Basilica.
He was a cardinal elector in the 2005 papal conclave, and numerous observers believed that Ouellet was papabile himself. A report said that Ouellet had supported Cardinal Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Ouellet remains eligible to vote in future papal conclaves that begin before his 80th birthday on 8 June 2024. He voted in the 2013 conclave, which elected Benedict XVI's successor, Pope Francis.
The 2008 International Eucharistic Congress took place in Québec City, coinciding with the 400th anniversary of the foundation of Quebec City. Cardinal Ouellet was elected the recorder, or relator-general, of the 12th Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome in early October 2008.
In June 2011 Cardinal Ouellet addressed speculation about his odds in a potential conclave, saying that, for him, being Pope "would be a nightmare". Ouellet said that while "you can't keep the world from dreaming things up," seeing Pope Benedict's workload at close range makes the prospect of the papacy "not very enviable". He added: "It is a crushing responsibility. It's the kind of thing you don't campaign for."
He is the present prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America since his appointment to both positions by Pope Benedict XVI on 30 June 2010. He succeeded Giovanni Battista Re, who had reached the age limit.
He is also a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Congregation for the Clergy, the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith These memberships are for five years and are renewable. Being resident in Rome, he is invited to attend not only the plenary meetings of those departments, which in principle are held every year, but also the ordinary meetings. He takes part in the (generally annual) meetings of these bodies, held in Rome. He is also a member of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Affairs of the Holy See. On 5 January 2011 he was appointed among the first members of the newly created Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation. On 29 January 2011, Cardinal Ouellet was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as a member of Secretariat of State (second section) On 6 April 2011, Cardinal Ouellet was named a member of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts by Pope Benedict. On 7 March 2012 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
On February 19, 2014 he was confirmed as member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches by Pope Francis until the expiration of his current five-year term.
Christian roots of Europe
In February 2011 Cardinal Ouellet said that the relativisation of the Bible, which denies the value of the Word of God, constitutes a genuine crisis that is both external and internal to the Church. He said "In the last decades, a profound crisis is shaking the foundations of European culture. A new raison d'etat imposes its law and tries to relegate the Christian roots of Europe to a secondary plane. It would seem that, in the name of secularism, the Bible must be relativised, to be dissolved in a religious pluralism and disappear as a normative cultural reference."
Interpretations of the Second Vatican Council
Ouellet believes that many Catholics interpreted the teachings of the Second Vatican Council in far too liberal a way and by doing so disconnected from the core of their faith. Relativism led to priests abandoning celibacy, a drop in proper religious education, and a general infusion of leftist politics – all of which was not the intention of the council. Ouellet stated: “After the council, the sense of mission was replaced by the idea of dialogue. That we should dialogue with other faiths and not attempt to bring them the Gospels, to convert. Since then, relativism has been developing more broadly.”
A report by the National Catholic Reporter anticipating the 2005 papal election placed Ouellet among twenty papal possibilities. "[P]eople who have worked with Ouellet," said the report, "describe him as friendly, humble and flexible, and a man not so captive to his own intellectual system as to make him incapable of listening to others."
Ouellet was sharply critical of the Ethics and religious culture course of the Quebec education ministry, saying that it relativized the role of faith within the realm of religion and culture.
Ouellet has stated the Catholic Church is persecuted in contemporary secular Quebec for telling the truth.
In a letter published in Quebec French-language newspapers on 21 November 2007, Cardinal Ouellet publicly apologized for what he described as past "errors" of the Roman Catholic Church in Quebec. Among the errors he wrote about were attitudes, prior to 1960, which promoted "anti-Semitism, racism, indifference to First Nations and discrimination against women and homosexuals."
One of Ouellet's predecessors, Jean-Marie-Rodrigue Villeneuve, who served as Archbishop of Quebec from 1931 to 1947, was opposed to freedom of the press, of thought, and of religion, and believed that granting women the right to vote would have ruinous effects on family unity and paternal authority. Villeneuve also viewed wearing shorts as an offense to Christian decency.
Ouellet stated that his letter was written in response to the public reaction to the statement he submitted to the Bouchard-Taylor Commission, and that it was inspired by a similar letter issued in 2000 by Pope John Paul II.
In May 2010 Ouellet stood by his comments that abortion is unjustifiable, even in the case of rape, and urged the federal government to help pregnant women keep their child. He said that "Governments are funding clinics for abortion. I would like equity for organizations that are defending also life. If we have equity in funding those instances to help women I think we would make lots of progress in Canada".
Having earlier applauded prime minister Stephen Harper's government for its stance against funding abortions in the developing world, he added: "If they do not want to fund abortion abroad and they do not bring at home more help to women to keep their child, I think they are incoherent".
Bishop selection methodology
As prefect for the Congregation of Bishops, Ouellet plays a primary role in the selection of new archbishops and bishops around the world. Bishops appointed during his term have generally been seen as theologians and defenders of the faith. Bishops appointed during his term include: Angelo Scola, Charles J. Chaput, Luis Antonio Tagle, and Charles Morerod.
Ouellet states: "Today, especially in the context of our secularized societies, we need bishops who are the first evangelizers, and not mere administrators of dioceses, who are capable of proclaiming the Gospel, who are not only theologically faithful to the magisterium and the pope but are also capable of expounding and, if need be, of defending the faith publicly." He also cautioned that if a priest or a bishop aspires and maneuvers to be promoted to a prominent diocese, "it is better for him to stay where he is."
- His baptismal name is sometimes given as Joseph Armand Marc.
- "OUELLET, P.S.S., Marc". Salvador Miranda. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- "Marc Ouellet reportedly helped broker Cardinal Keith O'Brien's exit". National Post. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- Thompson, Nick (8 March 2013). "Gambling with God: Staking a wager on the next pope". CNN. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- National Catholic Reporter, "Three Possible Popes" by John L. Allen, 4 May 2011.
- Peritz, Ingrid (16 February 2013). "In Rome, bright hopes. Back home, dimmed faith", The Globe and Mail, pp. F1, F4.
- Martin, Stéphanie (30 June 2011). "Devenir pape "serait un cauchemar", dit Marc Ouellet". Le Soleil. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "Cardinal Ouellet relieved not to be pope". The Canadian Press. 16 March 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- Paquin, Mali Ilse (15 March 2013). "Marc Ouellet se réjouit de l'élection de François". La Presse. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "Rinunce E Nomine". Press Office of the Holy See. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "Di Membri Della Congregazione Per La Dottrina Della Fede Nomina Di Membri Della Congregazione Per La Dottrina Della Fede". Press.catholica.va. 16 October 2010. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "Di Membri Del Pontificio Consiglio Per La Promozione Della Nuova Evangelizzazione". Press.catholica.va. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "Nomina Di Membri Del Consiglio Di Cardinali E Vescovi Della Sezione Per I Rapporti Con Gli Stati Della Segreteria Di Stato". Press.catholica.va. 29 January 2011. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "Rinunce E Nomine". press.catholica.va. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "Cardinal Ouellet Warns Against Bible Crisis". Zenit. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- National Post: "Canadian cardinal to set tone for Church" 19 August 2010
- Allen Jr., John L. (2005). "Who Will Be the Next Pope?". National Catholic Reporter.
- "Québec : Boycott du cours obligatoire d'éthique et de culture religieuse". ZENIT. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "Québec : "L'Eglise est persécutée parce qu'elle dit la vérité reçue de Dieu"". Eucharistiemisericor.free.fr. 13 April 2009. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- Lettre ouverte du Cardinal Marc Ouellet – À la recherche de la fierté québécoise (PDF) – text of the letter in French
- Cardinal Ouellet's issues mea culpa to Quebec – English translation of the letter
- "Quebecers reluctantly accept archbishop's apology". CBC News. 21 November 2007. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "Surprised by reactions, cardinal insists apology was an 'act of peace'". CBC News. 22 November 2007. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- TIME Magazine. "Entitled to Pronounce" 4 April 1938
- TIME Magazine. "It Is the End" 27 January 1947
- TIME Magazine. People 9 July 1945
- John-Henry Westen, Reading Quebec Cardinal's Apology to Homosexuals and Women in Context, LifeSiteNews.com, 21 November 2007
- Woods, Allan (15 February 2013). "Marc Ouellet: Canadian pope prospect who says top job would be a 'nightmare'". The Guardian.
- "Correction to May 26 story on abortion". St. Albert Gazette. The Canadian Press. 31 May 2010.
- "Quebec archbishop defends comments on abortion". CTV News. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- Catholic San Francisco: "Theologians, defenders of faith, prominent among recently named bishops worldwide" 17 January 2012
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marc Ouellet.|
- Mgr Marc Ouellet at Archdiocese of Quebec web site (French)
- on YouTube
- on YouTube
- English translation of Ouellet's first homily as Archbishop of Quebec
- Biography at www.catholic-pages.com
- Biography at The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church site
- Cardinals to Watch: Will a Canadian be the next pope? (National Review Online, 21 October 2003)
- [http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/update/conclave/top_candidates.htm Who Will Be the Next Pope?", 'National Catholic Reporter
- Qui succédera à Jean-Paul II? (Le Canal Nouvelles, 2 April 2005; in French)
|Catholic Church titles|
|Primate of Canada
Archbishop of Quebec
15 November 2002 – 30 June 2010
Giovanni Battista Re
|Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops
President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America
30 June 2010 – present