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Cardinal Marc Ouellet no longer able to vote in future conclaves

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Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet turned 80 years old rendering him unable to vote in future conclaves.

His career in the Vatican has been long and influential, holding important positions of responsibility and even being considered a candidate for pope in the 2013 conclave.

His priestly vocation dates back to when he was just 16 years old. This experience made him realise what his path was.

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“It was in an accident,” he said. “I broke my leg playing and, then, that slowed me down. I was passionate about sports, field hockey.

“So, I missed the whole sports season this year, but I started meditating and praying, and every day I did a little prayer, which I didn’t do before, and as a result of that, a vocational awakening began to grow.”

Cardinal Ouellet decided to enter the seminary and then became a missionary in Colombia, where he taught at several universities. He was ordained as Archbishop of Quebec in 2002 by Pope John Paul II and was created a cardinal by the Polish pope the following year.

His tenure in Canada lasted until 2010, when he was called to Rome for two important posts in the Curia: President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and Prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops.

The latter is key in the Vatican, since it is the department that advises the pope on the selection of new bishops.

“Thirteen years ago, I noticed that there were no vocations, that there were tensions and rivalries in the communities, that there was a lack of a missionary sense, the one that the pope is trying to instil.

“That is why I believe that the bishops are the first recipients of these reflections.”

In 2022, an accusation of alleged sexual assault of a female intern while he was Archbishop of Quebec came to light. After an investigation ordered by the pope to clarify the case, it was determined that there were insufficient grounds to open a canonical process. Ouellet, from the beginning, maintained his innocence.

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