Cardinal Ouellet appointed as head of Congregation for Bishops

Cardinal Marc Ouellet.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet.

.- On Wednesday, the Vatican announced the nomination of Cardinal Marc Ouellet to take the place of the retiring Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re in his two major positions in the Roman Curia. With the appointment, Cardinal Ouellet, no stranger to Rome, will enter into the Vatican ranks as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and the president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada since 2002, the Canadian prelate was created cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 2003.

According a biography released by the Catholic Church of Quebec, Cardinal Ouellet received teaching instruction from an early stage in his life and went on to get his B.A. in education from Laval University before taking on theological studies at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal from 1964-68. Upon graduating with his licentiate in theology, he was ordained a priest for his home diocese of Amos.

He earned a second licentiate from St. Thomas Aquinas Pontifical University in Rome in philosophy from 1974 and obtained a doctorate in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1983.

He has taught philosophy and theology extensively in a number of seminaries in Canada and Columbia as well as at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

He served as secretary to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity from March 2001 until his installment as Archbishop of Quebec in Jan. 2003. He has also held a number of consultancy positions to various Vatican congregations. He currently is a consultor to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, a member of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, and advisor to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

Upon hearing of the cardinal's appointment, Bishop Pierre Morissette sent him a letter of congratulations, saying, “It is a joy and pleasure for me as President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to congratulate His Eminence Marc Cardinal Ouellet on his appointment … Cardinal Ouellet is accompanied by the prayers and good wishes of all the Bishops of Canada … ”

Outgoing Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re has held the position of prefect of the Congregation of Bishops for the last 10 years. His extensive resume most notably includes his responsibilities as a member of the Secretariat of State, the Vatican congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Evangelization of Peoples, the Oriental Churches and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

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