Vatican selects Québec’s Cardinal Ouellet

Cardinal is headed to Rome to head the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America

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Photo: Arch-Diocese of Québec

Cardinal Marc Ouellet

The Vatican Press Office has confirmed the appointment of Cardinal Marc Ouellet as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. The Cardinal expressed gratitude and humility in accepting the appointment by Pope Benedict XVI:

"A new challenge awaits me after nearly eight years as pastor of the Québec diocese. Through my meetings in every part of our Archdiocese, I have become attached to those women and men who make the Québec diocese an exceptional family. I offer my thanks to the priests, religious and laypersons who have supported me during my ministry in Québec. I also wish to say a very special thank you to the youth and families, the great witnesses of hope for our Church.

"Pope Benedict XVI has asked me to leave Québec, which I love profoundly, for a new responsibility as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. Even in Rome, I shall remain in communion with Québec and Canada to which I am so deeply attached."

Since the announcement, the Cardinal is officially no longer the Archbishop of Québec. He is now apostolic administrator of the diocese until he takes up his duties at the Congregation for Bishops. Cardinal Ouellet succeeds Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, who spent nearly a decade as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. One of the first responsibilities of the Congregation for Bishops and its Prefect is to examine all of the documentation supplied by each Apostolic Nuncio to the Holy See for the purpose of selecting new bishops throughout the world. The Prefect presents the Congregation's choice to the Holy Father who alone has the ultimate decision on the appointment of a bishop.

As previously planned, Cardinal Ouellet will participate as the Pope's special envoy at the 400th anniversary of the baptism of Grand Chief Henri Membertou, which will take place at Chapel Island, Nova Scotia, Aug. 1.

A special section of the Québec Catholic Church Web site (www.ecdq.org) highlights Cardinal Ouellet's appointment with texts, images and videos.