Church reports gains on abuse

Telegram & Gazette


WORCESTER — Shortly after the Rev. Lowe B. Dongor was arraigned on possession of child pornography charges in 2011, Bishop Robert J. McManus asked the Vatican to defrock the diocese’s first Filipino priest.

Chancery officials said the bishop has always maintained a zero-tolerance policy when it came to clergy charged with sexual improprieties but added they were surprised that the Worcester prelate would move so quickly to strip Rev. Dongor of the priesthood.

“There was no question that the bishop would seek to have Dongor laicized,” explained one chancery official. “But the feeling was that he’d wait until the matter wound itself through the local court system. Obviously, the bishop wanted Rev. Dongor removed from the priesthood as quickly as possible.”

Local church officials, pointing to Bishop McManus’ action regarding Rev. Dongor, insist they are doing everything they can to protect kids and added that the diocese has fully embraced the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. …

“For the most part, the audits are superficial,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of, a watchdog group. “The auditors have to assume that the information they are reviewing is factual.”

She said oversight is difficult because auditors physically visit a diocese once every three years. During the other two years, they are dependent on the reports sent to them.

Victim advocates also note that many bishops ignore the purpose of the charter and continue to cover up improprieties.

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