The merde has hit the fan in the Canadian Church:
An arrest warrant has been issued for a former Roman Catholic bishop from Nova Scotia charged with possession and importation of child pornography. The Chronicle Hearld reports:
The Ottawa Police Service Internet child exploitation unit charged Raymond Lahey, 69, on Sept. 25, 10 days after he was pulled over at Macdonald-Cartier International Airport in Ottawa by Canada Border Services Agency officers.
Mr. Lahey, who recently helped broker a landmark $15-million settlement to a class-action sexual abuse lawsuit against the Diocese of Antigonish, was returning from the U.S. on Sept. 15 through the Ottawa airport when border officials pulled him aside for a secondary examination, according to a news release from Ottawa police.
Border services officers found images on his laptop computer “that were of concern”, according to the release.
Officials seized his computer and other media devices. Mr. Lahey was released “pending further investigation”, the release said.
When I have crossed the border into Canada, security officers sometimes turn on my computer to verify it is a computer and not a bomb. They did more than that to Lahey. I doubt he had child pornography as his screen saver. The Canadian police must have suspected him of downloading child pornography. They didn’t want to get a warrant to seize his computer, because they would alert him to erase the evidence. They must have noticed Immigration to watch for Lahey when he crossed back into Canada and to turn on his computer. When they searched his computer, they must have known which files to look for.
It gets worse. The Chronicle Herald spoke to Archbishop Mancini of Halifax:
Bishop Lahey resigned last weekend as bishop of the Antigonish diocese. The archbishop said Pope Benedict would had to have known the circumstances surrounding the resignation, as Bishop Lahey would have been required to cite his reasons for leaving his post.
“The Pope would have to know what the grave cause is,” Archbishop Mancini said in an interview with CTV. “And I have to assume, since he responded and accepted Bishop Lahey’s resignation, that the Pope knew the gravity of the matter.”
But the archbishop said he didn’t know the bishop was in trouble with the law when he received word of his resignation, and he doesn’t think anyone in the bishop’s diocese knew either. They only heard he was leaving for personal reasons.
“That is the only thing we knew . . . on Saturday, when the message was put out.”
This is the timeline:
On September 15 Lahey was stopped at the Canadian border where officials discovered that he had child pornography on his computer. They let him go pending investigation.
On September 25 Lahey was charged with importation and possession of child pornography.
On September 26 Pope Benedict, having been informed of what happened, accepted Lahey’s resignation.
On September 30 Canadian police issued a warrant for the arrest of Lahey.
But the Pope did not contact any of his fellow bishops in Canada or any diocesan officials in Antigonish to warn them what was coming. They learned it on the news or when reporters called for comments. This is a grave failure of collegiality.
What will Lahey do? Surrender and face trial, humiliation, and imprisonment? What kind of secret life has he led, and what will come out? Flee the country and take refuge in the Vatican? That would be catastrophic for the already-damaged reputation of the Church. Or like the officer who has been discovered to be treasonous, will he take a pistol into a room and end the disgrace?