06 May 2011
Any ecclesiastical repercussions that former Bishop Raymond Lahey will face are yet to be determined. Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton says that, in Canada, there’s no ecclesiastical body that would have authority over a bishop in relation to criminal matters. He says those responsibilities are reserved for the Vatican. The archbishop says when the criminal process comes to a close, the Vatican will take a look at all the facts and circumstances of the case to decide the appropriate penalty.
Archbishop Smith says that, to his knowledge, the diocese hasn’t had to face something as serious as a bishop in possession of child pornography. As for Raymond Lahey, Smith says there are two outcomes to consider: that of the judicial process and the ecclesiastical process. On a practical basis, he says someone who has pleaded guilty to such a terrible crime would not be returned, in any capacity, to ministry within the church.