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Canadian bishop laicized after child-porn conviction

May 16, 2012

Raymond Lahey, the former Bishop of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, has been laicized, the diocese has revealed.

Lahey petitioned the Vatican to remove him from the clerical state after he was arrested and charged with child pornography. He had already resigned his episcopal office, just prior to his arrest. In January of this year he was sentenced to a 15-month prison term after pleading guilty to the charges.

Although many priests have been laicized because of sex-abuse charges, Lahey is the first bishop to receive that canonical sentence. He will no longer be allowed to identify himself as a priest or to exercise any ministerial functions. “This decision reminds all of us of the serious harms that come from all forms of pornography, especially child pornography,” said Lahey’s successor, Bishop Brian Joseph Dunn, the current head of the Antigonish diocese.


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  • Posted by: John J Plick - May. 17, 2012 12:00 PM ET USA

    Is THIS truly, how the Vatican feels is the right way to respond to Bishops who experience moral failure, that is, in an almost totally reactionary way? Does the guilty party have to be “crushed” but in that crushing find wisdom..., enough wisdom in fact that they (the guilty party) actually has to “request” the Vatican to do the right thing, before the Vatican in fact does it? Passive leadership is an oxymoron, because for the most part it is no leadership at all.