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There is some confusion as to what exactly has happened to Bishop Raymond Lahey . We are told that Lahey has “been dismissed form the clerical state.”

We laity are more familiar with the terms “laicized” or  “defrocked,”  and I think it’s fair to say that most everyone understands exactly what “defrocked” means.

So, I have been going through several books on the Code of Canon Law with commentaries, and here is what I have found:

– The word “laicization” is rarely used now.  It is deemed derogatory to the laity. But, the truth is that Bishop Raymond Lahey has been laicized, in other words, he has been ‘defrocked.”

– Lahey becomes in the eyes of the Church and for legal effects a layman.

– Lahey is not permitted to wear clerical garb

– Lahey can not use the title Father or Reverend

– Lahey can no longer claim financial support from the Church (if he truly is indigent his bishop would see that he is taken care of)

– Lahey can not belong to any clerical associations

– Lahey can no longer function as a priest.  (as in the cases of all ex-priests he could give absolution to a penitent who is in danger of death)

– Lahey loses all positions, offices and functions related to the clerical state

– Lahey is freed from all clerical obligations except that of celibacy (he will however be required to pray the Liturgy of the hours in reparation for the harm and scandal he has caused and for the sanctification of clergy)

– Lahey is bound by all duties incumbent upon the laity

Adam commented on the blog that Lahey will be excommunicated if he violates the imposed canonical penalties imposed.  I can find nothing to that effect and would like to see which canon in the Code such a penalty falls.  I can see it happening if he were to marry, but wonder about it in regard to his praying the Liturgy of the Hours.  Can anyone provide the applicable canon?  I will pursue this privately but will be unable to do so until later in the day.


A reminder here that, there is other Lahey business which needs fixing:

(1)  Introductory letter in Believe in me

while he was Bishop of St. George’s Diocese in Newfoundland, Lahey penned the introductory letter in the Grade 7 religion book Believe in me, part of the CCCB religion program called We are Strong TogetherIn March 2010, at the request of the CCCB, the Lahey text was obliterated from the texts in many – but not all – school boards.  I would hope ALL school boards, including the Ottawa Catholic School Board and the Catholic District School Board of Easter Ontario, will now ensure that the Lahey letter is obliterated.


Lahey also has a letter in the Catholic Book of Worship III.  The letter should be obliterated, as should all liturgical ditties which Lahey composed.

(3)  The plaque in Corner Brook, Newfoundland

And then there is the matter of the plaque bearing the name of the “Most Rev. Raymond J. Lahey” on the ceremonial cornerstone of the former Regina High School in Corner Brook Newfoundlandwhich is about to become a junior high school.  It really must go!


Has anyone heard what happened in court yesterday re Father Rheal LeBlanc?

LeBlanc is also facing charges of possession of child porn.  I am sure his knees are knocking right now.

Enough for now,



This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Bishops, Canada, Raymond Lahey, Scandal and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Defrocked

  1. 1yellowknife says:

    *Thanks for confirming that Lahey “can no longer claim financial support”.  Loss of (pension or other) income will probably  strike more fear in the heart of cleric offenders than any societal punishments. Loss of  (pension) $$$ should become the norm for cleric offenders.

    Hope his former bishop agrees and does not provide alternate means of income for Lahey.

    [I seem to recall someone posted on this site that the Lahey family was wealthy – good for Lahey. Hope his  long-term-boyfriend is also flush with funds. There will be no  need for church or public funds at all, then.]



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