Canadian cardinal 'surprised' by appointment to Vatican position

Cardinal Marc Ouellet speaks at a press conference in Quebec City on June 30.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet speaks at a press conference in Quebec City on June 30.

.- At a recent press conference, Cardinal Marc Ouellet commented on his recent appointment as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, remarking that he was “surprised” to be working in this new capacity and is both grateful and daunted by the task.

Speaking to the press on June 30, the cardinal, who has served as Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada since 2002, spoke on the responsibility he will have in advising the the Holy Father on bishop nominations.

“It is a difficult and huge responsibility in the life of the Church,” the cardinal said.

When asked whether or not he had always wanted to become a part of the Roman Curia or even elected as Pope, Ouellet said, “No, it was not my dream when I was young.”

“My dream was to be a missionary,” he said, pausing with emotion. The Quebec archdiocese reported that as a member of the Sulpician Order, the cardinal served as a missionary in South America and other places, and taught in seminaries for 10 years before he was called to Rome to teach in a university there.

“I am surprised to be in this position,” he said. “I don’t think I will be Pope someday. I don’t think so. I concentrate my attention on what is coming before me with this new responsibility.”

Commenting on his role as head of the Congregation for Bishops, the cardinal clarified that he “will not invent a new procedure.”

“I will look for the best bishops possible,” he stated.

“The Pope has known me for years,” the prelate added. “I think he has great trust in me, and so, he knows that I am available and I will support him. I have been supporting him in difficult times we’ve had to go through.”

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who was appointed on June 30, will take the place of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re in his two major positions as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and the president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

Tags: Vatican, Roman Curia, Cardinal Ouellet


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