According to the court’s ruling, “in canon law, as in civil law, anyone who claims to be delegated must prove his delegation.” 

However, Ouellet did not present a specific mandate from the pope and was therefore not authorized to execute decrees of dismissal in a religious order. All decrees were signed by the cardinal or his secretary.

The court also said it was “surprised” that Ouellet “did not resign in his capacity as a close friend of one of the sisters of the Institute of the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Spirit.”

The court accused the religious community, among other things, of not correctly following the dismissal procedure. There was no prior warning and no reason for the dismissal from the community.

In addition, the court said, the community breached its duty of care when dismissing Baudin de la Valette, who was not offered any financial compensation that would have enabled her to “enjoy appropriate civil living conditions after 34 years of religious life and service to her community in the spirit of justice and charity as set out in canon law.”

With regard to the two apostolic visitors Nault and Desjobert, the court found that Nault had “impaired the exercise of the fundamental rights of the defense.” 

Every person, regardless of status, has “the right to know the exact nature of the acts they are accused of before being sentenced.”

“The visitors were not authorized to ignore the rules of canon law and general legal principles,” the court said.