Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
March 12, 2001
Former rector gets Vatican Post
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
VATICAN CITY — Father Marc Ouellet, the former rector of St. Joseph's Seminary, has been named the number two man in the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Because of his March 3 appointment as secretary to the council, Ouellet has been named a bishop.
He will succeed Cardinal Walter Kasper as secretary of the council. Kasper replaces Cardinal Edward Cassidy who is retiring as the council's head.
The Vatican office is responsible for the Catholic Church's official contacts with other churches and Christian communities.
Ouellet, a 56-year-old native of Lamotte, Que., was rector of St. Joseph's Seminary from 1994 to 1997.
He left St. Joseph's to become chair of dogmatic theology at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in Rome.
Prior to coming to Edmonton, he was rector of the Grande Seminaire de Montreal and the major seminary of Manizales in Colombia. He also served as professor and director of the major seminary of Cali, Colombia, for five years.
At the time of his appointment to the Christian unity council, he was a professor at Rome's Lateran University. He is also a member of the editorial board of the North American edition of the theological journal Communio.
Ouellet is a member of the Society of Priests of St. Sulpice, a society committed to the formation of priests. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome.
"This is wonderful," Archbishop Thomas Collins said of Ouellet's appointment.
"This is a crucial position in the Vatican."
It's an honour for St. Joseph's Seminary that one of its former rectors has been given such a position, the archbishop said.
Collins said that when he was rector of St. Peter's Seminary in London, Ont., he and Ouellet would meet regularly.
"I was very much impressed by his learning and his tremendous devotion," he said. "He's a great scholar and an expert on the theology of Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar."
Kevin Carr, president of Newman Theological College, which shares a campus and classes with the seminary, paid tribute to Ouellet's efforts to build strong ties between the seminary and the Western bishops.
"He was very highly regarded by many of the bishops," Carr said.
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