05/16/2012 03:23 EDT | Updated 07/16/2012 05:12 EDT

Catholic Church strips Raymond Lahey of duties

Disgraced Roman Catholic bishop Raymond Lahey has been stripped of clerical duties by the church because of a child pornography conviction.

The Catholic Church announced the decision regarding Raymond Lahey today.

"We have been informed that the Holy See has dismissed Raymond Lahey from the clerical state, one of the most serious penalties that the Church can impose," according to a news release from the office of the bishop, Diocese of Antigonish, N.S.

"This will mean that he will no longer function as a cleric, will no longer have the rights and duties of being a cleric, is not permitted to exercise any ecclesastical offices or functions and is not permitted to preside at any of the sacraments or religious services. However, any sacraments that he performed prior to this decision continue to be valid and effective."

Lahey, a Newfoundlander, was acting as bishop of the Nova Scotia diocese of Antigonish when he was stopped at the Ottawa airport in 2009.

Police found a large quantity of child pornography on the computer he was carrying.

Last January, Lahey was sentenced to 15 months in jail for possessing and importing the images.

The Crown's case against Lahey involved 588 photos and 63 videos, with the Crown pointing out that some involved adolescent boys engaged in sex acts while wearing a Crucifix and rosary beads.

Some of the images shown to the judge depicted scenes of bondage, featuring young men who were bound and on all fours.

At a sentencing hearing in December, Lahey apologized for his actions, describing himself as a man who became addicted to internet-based porn "on an indiscriminate basis."

Lahey, whose career included serving as a bishop in western Newfoundland before moving to Nova Scotia, said he wanted others to learn from his mistakes.