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Former bishop charged

Canada-wide search launched for Raymond Lahey


 

A search is underway for Raymond Lahey, a former bishop from Nova Scotia who is wanted on charges of possession and importation of child pornography. His whereabouts are currently unknown, but he has been in contact with Ottawa police. The Bishop was charged Friday and resigned Saturday, citing personal reasons.

The Vancouver Sun

The Globe and Mail


 
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Former bishop charged

  1. Silliness in the comments? Here, on the Maclean's boards? Surely you jest! :)____I found your comment enlightening, and hope you can enlighten me some more. Do you have some kind of backup material for your assertion on the pedophile priest profile? Can many of these same profile points be found in pedophiles in general? And yes, I'd be interested in more details on the proposals for why these types of men. As for the same-sex pedophile attractions vs. hetero-pedophiles, surely parents of sons are just as distrustful of a priest being alone with their child–at least by now?

  2. Silliness in the comments? Here, on the Maclean's boards? Surely you jest! :)

    I found your comment enlightening, and hope you can enlighten me some more. Do you have some kind of backup material for your assertion on the pedophile priest profile? Can many of these same profile points be found in pedophiles in general? And yes, I'd be interested in more details on the proposals for why these types of men. As for the same-sex pedophile attractions vs. hetero-pedophiles, surely parents of sons are just as distrustful of a priest being alone with their child–at least by now?

    • I can't provide any backup that I would be willing to produce as objective evidence. The research just hasn't been done to the extent that you can point at it and say "that is definitive". I mean, it hasn't even been shown definitively whether priests are more likely than general population to be accused of sexual offenses. I would be inclined to say yes, simply because teachers are more likely than general population to be accused as well. Is this because because priests or teachers have more opportunities to offend? Then there is the fact that many studies have ideological bias (ie. a catholic or left-wing media sponsor), varying degrees in the quality of the data collected, and simple disagreements on what data is valid. There is also the fact that you can't really have a control on your studies because you don't know how many priests have pedophilic desires or have offended… merely the ones who have been caught. Essentially, you have a lot of the same problems you would with an epidemeology study.

      • Yes, okay, that makes sense to me. Sort of why I asked :)

    • There are corellations that pop up all over the place, but as we are constantly reminded "correlation is not causation". The fact that this has hit the Irish church hardest in terms of number of offenses and where the problem has exploded (US, England, Atlantic Canada, Ireland) is pretty much accepted. So we have a correlation, but what does it mean? Are priests with Irish last names more likely to be accused of child sexual offenses because Irish Catholicism is more puritanical than Italian Catholicism? Is it because Irish priests are more socially isolated, whereas those with Italian backgrounds have closer ties with other family members? Was there more a culture of pederasty in Irish Catholic institutions and clerical orders? Are Irish clerics more liberal or more conservative on matters of sexuality than that of other ethnic groups in the Church? Was the Irish church given so much deference that abusers felt that they were untouchable?

      • I don't know anything about this, really, but I admit to being very surprised about your Irish profile point. Are you sure it isn't a matter of perspective (i.e., because you are most familiar with these countries you hear about them the most)?

        • It is not unique to Irish Catholicism, but it is far more prevelant.

    • All of these have been suggested, and all can be thought of as plausible possibilities of causation, but I don't think anyone would claim that they can point to any one of them and say that's the cause. The fact that abuse seems not to be spread equally over the entire Church regardless of nationality or sexuality doesn't bode well for the "celibacy alone is the cause of child sexual attraction" though some maintain they merely the first to be accused and there will be a cascade of offenses globally to everyone else around the world.

      • Oh, please. No matter how hungry I get, I will not eat motor oil or concrete. Why? Because I don't believe them to be edible. Same with children and sex. People will not drive trees, drink hair, or any other ridiculous thing, just because it is all that's available.

        • I don't believe so either. I think it has to be a matter of prediliction rather than desperation.

          Largely people who hold to this follow old school psychology, that namely circumstances work on your unconscious to produce neurosis. They suppress sexual desire, so they express it in unhealthy ways. Classic Freud.

          Of course, Freud is largely discredited in the academic community but he lingers on in popular culture.

        • I don't believe so either. I think it has to be a matter of prediliction rather than desperation.

          Largely people who hold to this follow old school psychology, that namely circumstances work on your unconscious to produce neurosis. They suppress sexual desire, so it manifests in unhealthy ways. Classic Freud.

          Of course, Freud is largely discredited in the academic community but he lingers on in popular culture.

    • The political views and pastoral side of priests that makes them more likely to offend seems to stem from the fact that more conservative and academic clerics within the church generally try to avoid parish duty as much as possible, and generally more interested in the hierarchical side and theological side of the church rather than serving parishoners or running institutions such as primary schools and orphanages. So Jesuits, Franciscans, and Christian Brothers are more likely to be pedophiles than Dominicans or Basilians for example. Diocesean priests are more likely to be pedophiles than certain religious orders as well (those that work with children more often) but not as much as those who rarely work with children.

  3. Excellent post.

    The North American Catholic clergy seems to have been thoroughly infiltrated by people with an agenda of their own during the mid-20th century. Time will tell whether this was merely individuals seeking an environment conducive to their personal urges or a concerted effort to put psychologically unhealthy men in place to cause maximum damage.

  4. Excellent post.

    The North American/British Catholic clergy seems to have been thoroughly infiltrated by people with an agenda of their own during the mid-20th century. Time will tell whether this was merely individuals seeking an environment conducive to their personal urges or a concerted effort to put psychologically unhealthy men in place to cause maximum damage.

    • I think the latter is highly unlikely. In fact it would be almost ludicrously impossible to pull off an international pedophile sabatoge ring as part of a conspiracy. You are usually fairly level headed, but you were silly in this last post.

      Toxic corruption, a bad culture or a bad work environment within an institution whether a government department, school, or private company on the other hand is fairly easy.

      • Perhaps. If it were just the higher-than-normal rates of pedophilia I'd dismiss it as you do. There are other disturbing indicators though that lead me to at least consider it a possibility, far-fetched though it sounds.

      • Perhaps. If it were just the higher-than-normal rates of pedophilia I'd dismiss it as you do. There are other disturbing indicators though that lead me to at least consider it a possibility, far-fetched though it sounds (and may well be).

        • I think the desire to avoid scandal, and the fact that it is easier to forgive and accept people you know is much more likely.

          I remember a pedophile in my home town of approx. 1000 people. He was accused of being touching a young boy and girl inappropriately when he was 17. Predictably he was a pariah at first, but as a few years passed he gradually was reintegrated with the wider community and largely forgiven. Sure, he will always have to reputation as a pervert, but it doesn't seem to have much in the way of repercussions. If someone is around, it is harder to demonize them.

          So if you take an ideology that you are supposed to forgive and forget, believe the wrong psychologists, have a relatively bad records kept, and a insular culture where everyone knows the accused… well that explains a lot of it there. Not everything mind you (like why native reserves were used as dumping grounds for pedophile priests) but it explains a lot.

      • I don't know about that. We do know of international pedophile rings that have existed for years. And if we know of two of them (i.e., the ones *I* remember hearing about) there can well be untold numbers of pedophile rings we haven't heard about. Especially in a closed "brotherhood" I'm not sure it is as unlikely as you assert.

        Which isn't to say it exists, either, of course.

  5. It's obvious the Catholic Church cannot clean this mess up on their own. It's time for the federal government to stop turning a blind eye to this malfeasance and take an active role in cleaning it up. No other organization would ever be allowed to carry on like this without some level of government taking action.

    • "Turning a blind eye"? What? Aren't the police pursuing the case?

      Or perhaps you think the Catholic Church should be outlawed in Canada, given that the organization is "carrying on like this".

      • Aren't the police pursuing the case?

        No, they are only investigating individual cases as they come up. They aren't, as far as I know, actively searching within the Catholic Church to uncover any other instances nor are they investigating the cover up that has been allowed to continue.

        <…perhaps you think the Catholic Church should be outlawed in Canada…

        I think all religion should be outlawed in Canada. But that's just a personal preference.

      • Aren't the police pursuing the case?

        No, they are only investigating individual cases as they come up. They aren't, as far as I know, actively searching within the Catholic Church to uncover any other instances nor are they investigating the cover up that has been allowed to continue.

        <…perhaps you think the Catholic Church should be outlawed in Canada…

        I think all religion should be outlawed in Canada. But that's just a personal preference.

      • Aren't the police pursuing the case?

        No, they are only investigating individual cases as they come up. They aren't, as far as I know, actively searching within the Catholic Church to uncover any other instances nor are they investigating the cover up that has been allowed to continue.

        …perhaps you think the Catholic Church should be outlawed in Canada…

        I think all religion should be outlawed in Canada. But that's just a personal preference.

        • Why not call for the inquiry, but not destroy your credibility? Now as per my first post, I am forced to call you a lame pseudo-intellectual under to "religion is poison" clause.

          • Did a PR flunky for the Catholic Church just question my credibility.

          • Well, I don't do PR for the Catholic Church, but yes, I do think you were saying somethig deliberately inflamatory and worthy of a pseudo-intellectual.

          • I am forced to call you a lame pseudo-intellectual under to "religion is poison" clause.

            I think you are absolutely wrong. There was nothing pseudo-intellectual about it. It was just lame. It is a position that other ideologies and theocracies threaten my precarious understanding of the world, and should be abolished. My understanding, however easily threatened it may be, shall forever become the prescribed and unquestioned understanding. It is the epitome of small-mindedness.

          • I am forced to call you a lame pseudo-intellectual under to "religion is poison" clause.

            I think you are absolutely wrong. There was nothing pseudo-intellectual about it. It was just lame. It is a position that says other ideologies and theocracies threaten my precarious understanding of the world, and should be abolished. My understanding, however easily threatened it may be, shall forever become the prescribed and unquestioned understanding. It is the epitome of small-mindedness.

          • I am forced to call you a lame pseudo-intellectual under to "religion is poison" clause.

            I think you are absolutely wrong. There was nothing pseudo-intellectual about it. It was just lame. It is a position that says other ideologies and theologies threaten my precarious understanding of the world, and should be abolished. My understanding, however easily threatened it may be, shall forever become the prescribed and unquestioned understanding. It is the epitome of small-mindedness.

    • Like I said in my post, the complaints about the Church seem to be swinging back the other way, namely that they are tossing everyone with the hint of of suspicion is now being tossed to the wolves. The Boston Globe has even complained about that!

      That said, there is no reason why we would assume that Bishop Lahey ever escalated his attraction to underage persons past pornography, which frankly is hard to detect and catch. If he hadn't been caught at the airport it is highly likely that he might have gone to the grave with his reputation intact. It is essentially like catching the CEO of a small company at child pornography. Under normal circumstances, no one is going to check his computer but him.

  6. It's also interesting to see the difference in the handling of this case and Polanski's. Maybe if this bishop were a film-maker he'd be able to get away with it.

      • Hadn't seen that, but thanks.

        Actually I was just reading my favorite lefty blogs and noticing their concerted "Free Polasnski!" sentiment. It's the same phenomenon I've noticed in the past: if you're perceived as a friend of the Left then you will be excused of things that would cost a normal person dearly, and would completely ruin an enemy of the Left. Whether it's drowning a girl, statutory rape, perjury while holding Federal office, tax evasion, etc. the double standard is remarkable.

      • Hadn't seen that, but thanks.

        Actually I was just reading my favorite lefty blogs and noticing their concerted "Free Polanski!" sentiment. It's the same phenomenon I've noticed in the past: if you're perceived as a friend of the Left then you will be excused of things that would cost a normal person dearly, and would completely ruin an enemy of the Left. Whether it's drowning a girl, statutory rape, perjury while holding Federal office, tax evasion, etc. the double standard is remarkable (and, frankly, somewhat encouraging – I would not want to be standing on the side that promotes this)

        In this case, though, I think Polanski's leftist credentials are tenuous enough that he won't get away with it.
        And obviously Lahey won't get away with his (alleged) crimes either. Which is good.

        • Which lefty blogs would these be? As a lefty, I'd like to make sure I avoid them.

    • Maybe if this bishop were a film-maker he'd be able to get away with it.

      Can you right whingers ever have a discussion without nailing yourselves to the cross? Barely any of the child rapers in the Catholic Church were put behind bars. And I don't know of even a single one of the people who covered it up for decades that was even charged with anything.

      • Well no, it is very difficult to prove that there is a conspiracy to promote predation or that there was willful criminal neglect, especially when it is hard to show what the responsibility of the Catholic Church should have been towards its parishoners or priests. This is rather uncharted legal territory after all. The best way would be through a well-thought out peice of legislation which would clarify the responsibilities of churches and other similar institutions, but I doubt if that will happen.

        As for the punishment of priests in the courts, I don't think there was any favourtism was shown. Any light offenses for pedophile priests seems to mirror the light offenses given to pedophile sex offenders in general.

      • Not fair, Robert (well, its fair–I just disagree with you) I'm almost as left-winger as you, but this has nothing to do with left and right in my opinion. Just because many priests didn't go to jail doesn't mean it's okay for film-makers to not go to jail, and just because film-makers don't go to jail doesn't make it okay for priests. I don't think anyone on this board thinks otherwise.

        And it isn't just cover-uppers in the Catholic Church that don't get charged. Most cover-uppers in the Madoff vs. SEC, Abu Ghraib, Sponsorship, Schreiber–hell, name a scandal–didn't get charged, either.

        • Your comment should be directed at Gaunilon. He's the one who made the double standard claim. I just refuted it.

  7. As for whether characteristics transfer over to general population of pedophiles, the answer seems to be no. For one thing, pedophilia is generally tended to be towards girls rather than boys in the general population, but this is certainly not the case in the Church. I would say that people of Irish descent aren't more likely to be pedophiles in the general population either.

    Sorry for the multiple posts, it was the only way Macleans would let me post it all.

    • Actually made it easier to respond.

  8. One of the most appalling aspects of the story is this: since when did Canada Customs have the right to go phishing through your laptop when you enter the country?

    • That is interesting in and of itself. It could be that the charges will be thrown out of court for that reason.

      I mean presumably you don't need to open up the files to determine that it is a working laptop instead of a bomb. Did he leave images or video files open on his laptop screen? Was he tried with distribution because he was travelling, or because he used a file sharer or torrent site?

      An interesting question aside from the "Bishop caught as pervert" angle.

  9. Again, this begs the question of why some comments are left open, but others are closed (anything to do with Jaffer's charges, for example). I'm curious, more than critical.

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