Scandal in Antigonish

Rev. Peter Timmins

Letter to the Editor of the Whig Standard, Kingston:


I suggest that the drama currently unravelling in Antigonish N.S. is essentially the story of one man's tragic obsession with child pornography. I do not see it as a scenario of perversion, deceit and betrayal that logically leads Catholics to reject their faith in church and sacrament.

Everything, so far, seems to point to Bishop Lahey as having a first class record of generous service.

Now, in one blinding flash, that record is expunged and he is branded and condemned.

Most of us cannot even begin to appreciate the agony of a person driven by guilt and anxiety as well as by a thirst for redemption. Presumably, this thirst was the force behind his well documented efforts on behalf of the victims of the sexual perversions of others.

Imagine the spiritual, intellectual and emotional turmoil fuelled day after day by constant access to the internet material to which he had become addicted!

I have no doubt that Bishop Lahey made some very unwise choices and that accepting to become a bishop was one of them. The same can probably be said of his presenting himself for ordination to the priesthood in the first place. Who knows? I suspect that he thought, as have many before and after him, that the grace of holy orders would defeat his "demons." (The corollary of which is that professional counseling is a weak and inferior response.)

Whatever the future holds for Raymond Lahey, former Roman Catholic Bishop of Antigonish, I hope and pray that his family and friends will not desert him and that the people will pray for him and remember his good deeds.

October 1, 2009

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