Ouellet, who is one of three Canadians taking part in the selection of a new pope, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. in an exclusive interview he hopes the safeguards the church has put in place "could be an example for others in society."
"I think the protocols that have been set up are effective if they are followed," he said.
Questioned about the selection of a new pope, Ouellet played down speculation he is one of the top contenders for the job.
"I have to be ready even if I think that probably others could do it better," he said. "I will cross the river when I get to the bridge, and we are not there."
Ouellet, 68, spoke to the CBC from his personal quarters at the Vatican.