Former Bishop Pleads Guilty To Possession Of Child Pornography

The former Bishop of the Archdioces of Antigonish, Nova Scotia today pleaded guilty to importing child pornography in an Ottawa courtroom.

Raymond Lahey was originally detained at the airport on September 15, 2009 in Ottawa, Ontario. During routine questioning at the border, Lahey became nervous when agents questioned him about having a laptop. Upon further inspection, agents at the border found suspicious materials on his laptop and seized it, but allowed Lahey to leave. Lahey quickly resigned as the Bishop and was formally arrested and charged on September 30, 2009.

Lahey’s laptop was found to contain nearly 600 pornographic images and nearly 60 videos, most of the abuse of young boys. Lahey’s trial was to start today in Ottawa and was expected to last three days, but instead the proceedings ended shortly after the guilty plea. Lahey also requested to have his bail revoked and go immediately to prison starting today.

Both the Vatican and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued statements after the guilty plea condemning Lahey’s actions, with the Vatican saying, “The Catholic Church condemns sexual exploitation of all kinds, in particular when minors are targeted.” The church also stated they were considering further action against Lahey.

Ironically, just prior to his arrest, Lahey had announced a financial settlement to a class-action lawsuit filed by victims of sexual abuse against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish. At that time he also offered an apology, stating he wanted to “formally apologize to every victim and to their families for the sexual abuse that was inflicted upon those young people who were entitled instead to the trust and protection of priests of the church. I want them to know how terribly sorry we are, how wrong this abuse was, and how we are now trying to right these past wrongs.”

Unfortunately, Lahey failed to right his own personal wrongs. He now faces a minimum of one year in jail, however, prosecutors may seek more time. He also is facing a civil suit: Lahey was once at the notorious Mount Cashel Orphanage where a man claims Lahey abused him in 1989.  
However, a jail sentence isn’t enough. Lahey should be doing his utmost to assist investigators in locating the manufacturers and victims of the pornography he downloaded; it seems to be the least he can do for those whose suffering he exploited.

Related Stories:

Prominent Jesuit Scholar Accused of Abuse

Vatican: Ordaining Women “Grave Crime,” Much Like Sex Abuse

Priest Scandal Engulfs Philadelphia; Monsignor Among Those Charged


Photo credit: quinn.anya on flickr


Miriam W.
miriam w7 years ago

“The Catholic Church condemns sexual exploitation of all kinds...."

History says differently....

Anton K.
Past Member 7 years ago

Obviously pedophilia doesn't go against their vow of celibacy. Religion seems rather flexible when it's convenient. Maybe they still do Indulgences for priests or something eh?

jane richmond
jane richmond7 years ago

OK but they excommunicate legislators for voting as their constituents wish.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin7 years ago

Hope he gets a nice, big, boyfriend in jail.......

Jane L.
Jane L7 years ago

Sounds like another sad case of sexual oppression affiliated with religion. Not to excuse his actions, but it sounds like Lahey is a symptom of how such dogma can go wrong.

Ralph YY
JustaHuman Here8 years ago

I am sure Catholics will find excuses. Believers swallow anything.

Valerie G.
Val G8 years ago


Don Go
Don Go8 years ago

I thought it was just a stereotypical joke, and expected that surely it was true, a bit but I guess it still never felt real.

Can't believe these are our leaders.

Brian P.
.8 years ago

@ Andy KB - this is Christianity as we know's just getting more coverage now than ever before. It's about control, abuse of power and perpetuating ignorance which is probably why conservatives love hiding behind the bible so much to justify their horrible actions.

There is nothing that religious groups do for humanity that cannot be done (and better I might add) through secular values and morals don't stem from a historical document rooted in mythology but rather from being taught to respect people as individuals and treat them the same way I would like to be treated.

If you abuse people and treat them like garbage, then you should expect the same in return - we are all accountable for our actions in this life and belief in a historical storybook doesn't absolve you of responsibility for being an a-hole.

For all the faithful who get their knickers in a knot about this type of thinking, stop hedging your bets on "what if" and start paying more attention to "what is" and just be excellent to each other! It doesn't require a guidebook or a gilded building, just simple kindness.

Christine S.
Christine S8 years ago

Stop bashing homosexuals and go after the real perverts- PEDOPHILES IN CHURCH!