The Deacon's Bench

You see stuff like this, and words fail:  

A Roman Catholic bishop who oversaw an historic settlement with victims of past sexual abuse by priests in Nova Scotia has been charged with possessing and importing child pornography.

Bishop Raymond Lahey of the archdiocese of Antigonish was searched at the Ottawa airport as he re-entered Canada on Sept. 15. Officers found images “of concern” on his laptop, and seized it along with other media devices. He was released pending further investigation.

After a forensic examination revealed child pornography, Ottawa police charged Bishop Lahey, 69, Friday and issued a warrant for his arrest.

In a statement Saturday, Bishop Lahey said that “after much thought and careful consideration” he had submitted his resignation to Pope Benedict “for personal reasons.”

“…To so many of you I would want to say a personal word of farewell and thanks. However, I have already left the diocese to take some much-needed time for personal renewal. I simply ask for your prayers, as I assure you of my continued prayers for you all,” he wrote.

Archbishop of Halifax Anthony Mancini told CTV News that he spoke to the former bishop yesterday but doesn’t know where he is and would encourage him to surrender “and allow the legal process to unfold.”

You can find more details here.    

The people in his diocese must be in a state of shock.  All concerned need our prayers.