Raymond Lahey

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Raymond Lahey
Diocese Antigonish
See Antigonish (emeritus)
Installed April 5, 2003
Term ended May 16, 2012
Predecessor Colin Campbell
Successor Brian Dunn
Ordination June 13, 1963
Consecration August 3, 1986
Rank Bishop
Personal details
Born (1940-05-29) May 29, 1940 (age 78)
St. John's, Newfoundland
Nationality Canadian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Residence Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Occupation former member of clergy
Profession priest

Raymond John Lahey (born May 29, 1940) is the former Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Lahey resigned from his position in the Diocese of Antigonish in 2009 after being charged with importation and possession of child pornography when Canada Border Services Agency investigators discovered images of concern on his laptop computer.[1] He was suspended from his priestly and sacramental duties, and was eventually laicized in 2012.


Lahey was born in St. John's, Newfoundland on May 29, 1940. He attended St. Paul University at the University of Ottawa, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Theology in 1961, a Licentiate in Theology (L.Th.) in 1963 and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) (magna cum laude) in 1966.[2]

He was ordained in 1963.


Lahey's career saw him serve in a combination of clergical and academic positions in Newfoundland and Labrador, and most recently in Nova Scotia.[2]

Academic contributions[edit]

Abuse scandal[edit]

On August 7, 2009, Lahey announced that the Diocese of Antigonish had reached a $15 million settlement in a class action lawsuit filed by victims of sexual abuse by diocese priests dating to 1950.[3] The settlement was approved by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on September 10, 2009.[4][5] In 2012 the diocese satisfied its legal obligations to pay out $15 million to the victims of sexual abuse, having to sell a large number of its properties, liquidating the bank accounts of many of its churches, and borrowing $6.5 million from private lenders to make the payout.[6]

On September 15, 2009, Lahey returned to Canada from a trip to Europe, arriving at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport. Canada Border Services Agency officers performed a random search of a laptop computer carried by Lahey and allegedly uncovered "images . . . that were of concern." Lahey was allowed to return to Nova Scotia; however, the computer was seized and the Ottawa Police Service alleged that a subsequent forensic examination revealed child pornography.[7] Lahey pleaded guilty to the charges on May 4, 2011. He requested imprisonment, surrendering his right to bail.[8] On January 4, 2012, he was sentenced to 15 months of prison time and 24 months of probation. However, because he had spent 8 months in pre-trial custody, he was given time served and was discharged on the same day.[9][10] This occurred as a result of a law that was repealed by the federal government in 2010; it had allowed judges to give 2-for-1 credit for time served. This was only possible in Lahey's case because he was charged in 2009, before the law was repealed.[9][10]


On May 16, 2012, it was announced that Raymond Lahey had been defrocked by a decree of the Vatican.[11]


  1. ^ a b https://web.archive.org/web/20091003111142/http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2009/09/30/ns-bishop-charged.html. Archived from the original on October 3, 2009. Retrieved March 7, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b (PDF) http://thechronicleherald.ca/pdfs/bishopbio.pdf. Retrieved October 1, 2009.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  3. ^ "More church properties for sale to cover cost of sex-abuse deal". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  4. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20090914023132/http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2009/09/10/ns-court-sex-abuse-church.html. Archived from the original on September 14, 2009. Retrieved October 1, 2009.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Antigonish Diocese: Sexual Abuse Class Action Lawsuit | Nova Scotia". McKiggan Hebert - Halifax Personal Injury Lawyers. Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  6. ^ "Diocese of Antigonish starts church review". The Chronicle Herald. 2014-04-14. Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  7. ^ The Chronicle Herald Archived October 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Catholic News Agency: "Vatican decries Canadian bishop's actions, offers prayers for diocese" May 5, 2011
  9. ^ a b Bishop Lahey gets time served for child porn January 4, 2012
  10. ^ a b Disgraced bishop Raymond Lahey freed for time already served for child porn January 4, 2012 Archived January 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/retired-canadian-bishop-laicized-vatican Vatican laicizes Canadian bishop convicted of importing child porn Archived May 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Richard Thomas McGrath
Bishop of St. George's
8 July 1986 – 5 April 2003
Succeeded by
David Douglas Crosby
Preceded by
Colin Campbell
Bishop of Antigonish
5 April 2003 – 26 September 2009
Succeeded by
Brian Dunn