Vatican Pledges Penal Measures Against Canadian Bishop

Raymond Lahey Jailed for Possession of Child Pornography

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 4, 2011 ( The Vatican is promising to seek «the appropriate disciplinary or penal measures» for Canadian Bishop Raymond Lahey, 70, who was found guilty of importing child pornography into the country.

In 2009, Bishop Raymond Lahey was found in possession of 588 images of child pornography images and some 60 videos at the Ottawa airport. He resigned as bishop of the Antigonish Diocese in Nova Scotia the next day.

Today, Lahey pleaded guilty in an Ottawa court, and volunteered to serve a sentence that will last at least a year, reports the Ottawa Citizen.

Following the trial, the Vatican’s press office issued the following statement: «The Catholic Church condemns sexual exploitation in all its forms, especially when perpetrated against minors.

«The Holy See will continue to follow the canonical procedures in effect for such cases, which will result in the imposition of the appropriate disciplinary or penal measures.» 

Last summer, the Vatican addded acquisition, possession or distribution of child pornography to the list of the «more grave crimes» to be handled by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 

The Canadian Conference of Canadian Bishops also released a statement, in which they condemned «all forms of sexual exploitation, especially involving minors.»

The bishops reiterated their commitment to «work to prevent such behavior and to bring healing to the victims and their families.»

«Recognizing the confusion and anger that this case has engendered among many of the faithful, we underscore our pastoral concern for those who have experienced great pain as a result of these events,» the noted continued. «In a special way our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the Diocese of Antigonish and all the Atlantic region.»

The bishops of Canada also repeated the Church’s «Church’s long-standing condemnation of the possession, distribution and use of child pornographic images in all forms,» as well as their resolve «to do everything we can to promote the dignity and respect of the human person.»

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