03/11/2013 04:08 EDT | Updated 05/11/2013 05:12 EDT

Facts about Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Quebecer considered candidate to become pope

LA MOTTE, Que. - A look at Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who could become the first Canadian pope and the first non-European in nearly 1,300 years to lead the Roman Catholic Church.

Born: June 8, 1944, in La Motte, Que.

Education and career: Completed Amos Teacher Training College in 1964.

— Studied philosophy at Laval University in Quebec City and obtained bachelor's in education in 1964.

— Completed theological studies at the Grand Seminaire de Montreal in 1968 and obtained licence of theology from Universite de Montreal.

— Appointed pastor in Val-d'Or on May 25, 1968.

— Taught philosophy at Major Seminary in Bogota, Colombia, in 1970-71.

— Studied at St. Thomas Aquinas Pontifical University in Rome, obtained Licence in Philosophy in 1974.

— Professor at Major Seminary of Manizales, Colombia, before being recalled to Canada in 1976.

— Professor at Grand Seminaire du Montreal.

— Returns to Rome in 1978 to study at Gregorian University, earns doctorate in Dogmatic Theology in 1983.

— Returns to Colombia to teach at Major Seminary of Cali, then appointed rector of Major Seminary of Manizales from 1984 to 1989.

— In Canada, becomes rector of Grand Seminaire de Montreal, then at St. Joseph Seminary in Edmonton in 1994.

— Holds chair of Dogmatic Theology at Lateran Pontifical University in Rome.

— Ordained bishop in 2001 by John Paul II, appointed titular bishop of Agropoli and as the second-highest official at the agency responsible for ties with non-Catholic Christians, the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

— Appointed archbishop of Quebec City on Nov. 15, 2002.

— Promoted to college of cardinals by John Paul II on Oct. 21-22, 2003.

— Serves in a number of other Vatican organizations including the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Congregation for the Clergy, and the Pontifical Academy of Theology.

— Becomes involved in political debates in Canada, opposing same-sex marriage in 2005 and describing abortion as a moral crime in 2010 even when a rape has occurred.

Quote: "(Being pope) would be a nightmare. I see the work the pope has to do. It's maybe not so enviable. It's a crushing responsibility... There's the help of the holy spirit, for sure, but it's a very big responsibility. Nobody campaigns for that." —Quebec City newspaper interview, 2011.