Rorate Caeli


No, even worse, complete dismissal from the clerical state. From the website of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops:

On May 4, 2011, then Bishop Raymond Lahey [former Bishop of Antigonish, Nova Scotia] 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.

May 16, 2012


  1. Enoch, you have got a real problem...

  2. I know liberal bishops love to castigate +Williamson, when, in fact, they have their own boyfriends.

    To avoid scandalizing the Church I'll avoid mentioning one prominent Archbishop who I know has a priest-boyfriend in Texas.

    But I mention this because it's amazing how everything about the Society is scrutinized and judged while logs remain heaven in the eyes of the scrutinizers.

  3. R. John2:52 PM

    Here's what I think (in less time than it takes to boil an egg):

  4. R. John, like most protestant heretics, Handel is a little too exuberant for me; I'm more of a Byrd or Tallis man myself.

  5. Or, if you want to go modern, there is no music comparable to the Estonian Orthodox Pärt 's.

  6. May God have mercy on the soul of Raymond Lahey and heal all those harmed by his actions. May the wickedness of child exploitation be banished from the earth!

  7. Jason C.4:59 PM

    KoM, I would love to assist at a TLM where Part's Beautus (I think it's Statuit ei, right?) accompanied the Mass.

    No one would accuse it of Romanitas, it's probably not for everyone, and it would probably last two hours, but, dang, that Kyrie (and the Sanctus, wow!) gets me every time.

  8. Chris5:16 PM

    Obviously this guy should be punished. However, how can Rome dismiss him from the clerical state, yet still require him to be celibate and pray the LOH?

    Seems to me, you are a cleric or you are not. If you are not, and are "dismissed" of the state entirely, Rome has done away with you and they have no further right to tell you to obey certain obligations of the clerical state.

    Notice only the obligation of celibacy remains. So the vow of obedience does not remain. So how does Rome get off ordering him to do anything?

    His vows were taken as a pre-condition to the priesthood. He wouldn't have taken them otherwise. Thus, it seems Rome can't have its cake and eat it too. Either he is a priest under disciplinary orders, or he is a layman and Rome has no more say over him than it would any other layman.

    Last I checked, Rome cannot order a layman on the street to be celibate or pray the LOH.

  9. I suppose, Chris, because in an exercise of Papal authority, Rome can make any Catholic do whatever it wants, except for sin.

  10. Chris,

    Whether he did so as a precondition to the priesthood or not, he took his vows. In releasing him to the lay state, as a punishment for his crimes, it is the Pope's decision alone as to whether or not it includes a release from the vow of celibacy. The obligation to pray the LOH was imposed as a penance for his crimes. He chose to accept that penance.

  11. Poor Yorek6:38 PM

    Last I checked, Rome cannot order a layman on the street to be celibate or pray the LOH.

    Firstly, a priest or bishop who loses the clerical state does not equal a "layman" albeit that the lose all the rights proper to the clerical state. See canons 290-2. For one thing, a cleric who loses the clerical state can be reinstated viz. Can 293 (however unlikely).

    Secondly, Can. 1369 might be used to apply the obligation of praying the LoH as a "just penalty" for the canonical crime(s) committed in this case.

    Can. 1369 A person who in a public show or speech, in published writing, or in other uses of the instruments of social communication utters blasphemy, gravely injures good morals , expresses insults, or excites hatred or contempt against religion or the Church is to be punished with a just penalty.

    Can. 291 Apart from the case mentioned in ⇒ can. 290, n. 1, loss of the clerical state does not entail a dispensation from the obligation of celibacy, which only the Roman Pontiff grants.

    Can. 292 A cleric who loses the clerical state according to the norm of law loses with it the rights proper to the clerical state and is no longer bound by any obligations of the clerical state, without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 291. He is prohibited from exercising the power of orders, without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 976. By the loss of the clerical state, he is deprived of all offices, functions, and any delegated power.

  12. P.K.T.P.5:42 AM

    Loss of the right of clerical attire? Few of the members of the Canadian Conference of Communist Bishops even bother with clerical attire.

    What of the other Raymond: Raymond Gravel? There's Canadian 'priest' who argues in favour of keeping abortion legal on television. He's far worse than Lahey. Why is he still a Parish Priest at Repentigny, Diocese of Joliette, Quebec?


  13. And we must ask ourselves frankly and give answer honestly - from where does this degradation emanate?

    The liturgical vehicle that has fed this dire situation.

  14. Petrus Radii9:32 PM

    Before Vatican II, there were penal monasteries where men (or women) like this man were sent and essentially held prisoner, so that they would do penance the rest of their lives without any contact to those whom they might harm.

    After Vatican II, the criminal is turned loose on the streets, assuming he is not locked up by the civil authority, and provided no spiritual support.

    We must all be "pre-conciliar" on this matter!


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