Statement by the CCCB: Raymond Lahey

  

The following statement was released by the CCCB today.

On May 4, 2011, then Bishop Raymond Lahey entered a plea of guilty in civil court to the possession of child pornography. He was sentenced in accordance with civil law on January 4, 2012. It remained for the Holy See to follow the canonical procedures in effect for such cases to determine what appropriate disciplinary or penal measures would be imposed. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has now been informed by the Holy See that Raymond Lahey has been dismissed from the clerical state. According to Canon 292 of the Code of Canon Law, the penalty of dismissal from the clerical state has the following effects: loss of the rights and duties attached to the clerical state, except for the obligation of celibacy; prohibition of the exercise of any ministry, except as provided for by Canon 976 of the Code of Canon Law in those cases involving danger of death; loss of all offices and functions and of all delegated power, as well as prohibition of the use of clerical attire. Raymond Lahey has accepted the Decree of Dismissal, which also requires him to pray the Liturgy of the Hours in reparation for the harm and the scandal he has caused, and for the sanctification of clergy.

The dismissal from the clerical state means Lahey can no longer celebrate Mass or the sacraments. He will also no longer be addressed as “Bishop Lahey”  or “Father Lahey”. The decree issued to him by the Holy See does not, however grant him a dispensation from the vow of celibacy. The CCCB statement points out one additional condition imposed upon Lahey: he is obligated to pray the liturgy of the hours as a penance for his actions.

In January 2012 the 71 year old former bishop was convicted of importing child pornography. He was given credit for time served while awaiting trial and sentenced to 24 months probation.