The most promising Pope candidates part V: Marc Ouellet

Cardinal Ouellet: The Cosmopolitan

As head of the Congregation of Bishops, Marc Ouellet (68) is kind of a staff manager at the Vatican. Pope to be “would be a nightmare,” Ouellet was once quoted. However, his chances are not bad at all.

Ouellet is a cosmopolitan who speaks also German, Portuguese, and Spanish in addition to French and English. Although the former Ratzinger students is well networked within the Curia, the widespread secularism in his home province of Quebec could speak against him as the new Pope.


In theological questions, he appears strict and conservative. Among other things he spoke out publicly against abortion and gay marriage. His supporters believe he would make a modest Pope and a deeply faithful defender of the Catholic identity. For his critics, as a Ratzinger student, he is to similar to Benedict XVI.

Ouellet was born in 1944, in Amos (Quebec), in a French-speaking family with eight children. He studied theology in Montreal, was ordained a priest in 1968 and became in 1972 the Sulpician Order. In Innsbruck, he continued his studies. On March 3 2001, Pope John Paul II. appointed the Canadian, Secretary of the Ecumenical Council at the Vatican. A year later he was appointed Archbishop of Quebec, and Cardinal in 2003. 2010, Ouellet became Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

“Nightmare with a huge responsibility”

Ouellets workload and pace in the Vatican are legendary. In 2011, he described the tasks and position of the Pope in an interview as “Nightmare with a huge responsibility,” no one could seriously apply for. The Canadians gained reputation as a unconverer in the church sex abuse scandal. In the course of the groundbreaking abuse conference a year ago at the “Gregoriana” (Pontifical Gregorian University) in Rome, he ministered a service in which there was a special liturgical gesture of reconciliation: both abuse victims and abusers attended the service, while the perpetrators asked for forgiveness for their sins.

In the context of secularized societies “we need Bishops who lead the evangelization of a diocese and not confine themselfs on the administration,” said the Cardinal. You should not only be theologically devoted to the Magisterium and the Pope, “but also be able to define your faith and if necessary publicly defend it.”

The most promising Pope candidates part I: Peter Turkson
The most promising Pope candidates part II: Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga
The most promising Pope candidates part III: Angelo Scola
The most promising Pope candidates part IV: Tarcisio Bertone
The most promising Pope candidates part VI: Timothy Dolan
The most promising Pope candidates part VII:Luis Antonio Tagle
The most promising Pope candidates part VIII: Angelo Bagnasco
The most promising Pope candidates part IX: Gianfranco Ravasi
The most promising Pope candidates part X: Odilo Pedro Scherer

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