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Church folk warned vs priest fleeing US child porn case

/ 08:22 PM November 04, 2011

ILOILO CITY—Top Church officials here have issued an alert for an Iloilo-born priest who fled theft and child pornography charges in the United States.

The Archdiocese of Jaro asked members of the clergy to be on the lookout for Fr. Lowe Dongor, who was born in Iloilo and was assigned to the Diocese of Worcester in Massachusetts.

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Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo issued a circular on

Oct. 26 to issue a warning against clergy members dealing with Dongor.

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Lagdameo said the Jaro Archdiocese adopted the decision of the Diocese of Worcester to prohibit Dongor from wearing priest attire and performing functions as a priest.

Dongor, 35, a native of Barotac Nuevo, a town 30 km northeast of Iloilo City, left Worcester without permission while awaiting trial on charges of theft and possession of materials on child pornography, according to Worcester Bishop Robert

McManus in a letter to Archbishop Nereo Odchimar, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Dongor has reportedly been seen in his hometown last week and has even officiated Mass.

In his letter dated Oct. 13, McManus said Dongor was removed from Worcester pending his trial.

“I removed Father Dongor from active ministry and informed him that he could not wear clerical attire or present himself publicly as a priest,” McManus said in his letter.

He said that based on a position of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the “acquisition, possession and distribution of child pornography is a canonical delict that pertains to the sexual abuse of a minor.”

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The letter did not provide further details of the accusations against Dongor.

But according to a Sept. 19 report of the Catholic Free Press on the Internet, Dongor, former associate pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish, was arraigned on Sept. 13 in the Fitchburg District Court on charges of possession of child pornographic materials, theft of more than $250 and other charges.

“He is accused of having pictures on his laptop of girls around the ages of 10 and 11 in various stages of undress. He also is accused of having stolen $40 or $50 on several occasions from the parish office, according to police reports,” the report said.

It said Dongor was removed from his ministry in July by McManus “after financial improprieties were discovered at the parish.”

McManus said in his letter to the CBCP that Dongor “fled” the diocese before his Oct. 25 trial. He left a note saying he was returning “home” which McManus presumed was the Philippines.

“I bring this matter to your excellency’s attention in case Father Dongor presents himself to bishops in the archdioceses or dioceses of the Philippines as a priest in good canonical standing. Obviously this is not the case,” McManus said.

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TAGS: Children, Church, Crime, Lowe Dongor, Pornography, United States
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