I have a section in my book (Sacrilege, pp. 71-80) on the abuse of boys at the Mount Cashel orphanage in Newfoundland. The boys had complained to the police for years, but the police and the newspapers covered up for the Church. Shane Earle finally was able to go public and there was a public investigation. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Company, Earle had told the police about Father Raymond Lahey:

Twenty years ago, Earle and his brother Shane Earle testified at Newfoundland and Labrador’s Hughes inquiry into the Mount Cashel orphanage, where they suffered abuse as children.

Shane Earle says he told police back then that Lahey befriended him when Lahey was a priest in Mount Pearl, but the friendship ended when Earle and another boy found pornographic videos and photos in Lahey’s home.

Billy and Shane Earle said the news that Lahey is facing child pornography charges now has turned their minds back to that horrible time and that they’ve been talking and reliving their experiences with Lahey.

In an email sent to his brother Billy, Shane Earle says he told police 20 years ago the pornography he saw at Lahey’s home was child pornography.

“During the investigation in 1989 I did reveal to police that during a visit to Father Raymond Lahey’s house in Mount Pearl, I found catalogues of child pornography addressed to Ray Lahey. The pictures were of teen boys sexually aroused,” wrote Shane Earle, in an email that Billy Earle showed to CBC News.

Possession of child pornography only became a crime in the 1990s.

Shane Earle’s allegations to a St. John’s newspaper in the 1980s launched the investigation into what happened at Mount Cashel.

The police failed; the Vatican failed. 

The police covered up for the Church and respected the Church’s lust for secrecy. Everything is a secret at the Vatican: what did the Pope have for lunch? – It’s a pontifical secret.  

Perhaps it is best that the Vatican appoint bishops; but the Vatican should do a thorough and public investigation of the men it is considering as the successors of the apostles.

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