A test for the church

Ottawa Citizen

It might have shocked some to see disgraced Catholic Bishop Raymond Lahey walk out of an Ottawa courtroom this week after being sentenced to time served for possession of child pornography. But that doesn’t mean his sentence was too lenient.

The court conferred an appropriate sentence on Lahey, who had been in jail for eight months, and faces restrictions on his behaviour that extend for the next 20 years. But now it is up to the Catholic Church to take action that restores the faith of members disillusioned and shaken by the actions of Lahey and other members of the Catholic clergy.

Lahey’s case is intrinsically shocking. In possessing images of children being abused he was contributing to their victimization and revictimization. And not only is he a Catholic bishop, but he is the one who, as bishop of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, negotiated a multimillion-dollar settlement for victims of child sexual abuse by clergy.

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