Catholic Bishop Faces Child Porn Charges

A Canadian Catholic bishop has resigned his post and is facing criminal charges of possessing and importing child pornography. Bishop Raymond Lahey has turned himself in to law enforcement authorities in Ottawa after Canadian border agents performed a random check and found lewd images of children on his laptop computer. Police have seized the laptop as well as a number of thumb drives in the bishop’s possession. Lahey was returning to Canada on a flight from Britain when he was detained in September.
Lahey was bishop of the Canadian Catholic diocese of Antigonish before his resignation. This past August Lahey was credited with settling a $15 million lawsuit concerning child sexual abuse by priests in his diocese involving a notorious child sex ring at the Mount Cashel orphanage in St. John’s. Lahey posted a $9,000 bail under the condition that he refrain from using any computer equipment and avoid places where minors may be present. His next court date is scheduled for November 4, 2009. In the meantime, Lahey must remain at Les Pères Trappistes in Rogersville, N.B., and must report bi-weekly to the local Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment.
This is a particularly disturbing story for Catholics and non-Catholics alike on many levels. The case involves a Catholic bishop found in possession of child pornography who had publicly decried the suffering of sexual abuse victims. In fact, he had testified in the case involving the sex abuse of minors at the Canadian orphanage and had publicly stated that he desired to assist in the healing of abuse victims.