Bishops Get Letter of Warning

By Leslie Ann G. Aquino
Manila Bulletin
October 31, 2011

MANILA, Philippines The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) received a letter, warning the bishops against a United States (US)-based Filipino priest who was allegedly suspended after having been charged of theft and possession of pornographic materials.

CBCP president and Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar said the letter came from Rev. Robert McManus of Worcester Diocese of Massachusetts, USA.

In the letter, McManus claimed that Rev. Lowe B. Dongor was charged with theft and possession of child pornography items and was set to go on trial last October 25 when he disappeared from the diocese before he could appear in court.

McManus alleged in his letter to Odchimar that the accused priest left a note saying that he would be returning "home."

"I presume that he meant the Philippines," McManus said in his letter dated October 13, an excerpt of which was posted on the CBCP website.

McManus claimed that on May 3, 2011, a clarification from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith declared that "the acquisition, possession and distribution of child pornography is a canonical delict that pertains to the sexual abuse of a minor."

Because of the charges, Dongor was allegedly removed from active ministry and prohibited from wearing a clerical attire or present himself publicly as a priest.

"I bring this matter to Your Excellency's attention in case Fr. Dongor presents himself to Bishops in the archdioceses of the Philippines as a priest in good canonical standing," McManus pointed out in his letter, claiming "obviously this is not the case."

Diocesan records showed that Dongor was born on February 17, 1976 in Iloilo, Philippines and attended Barotac Nuevo High School, graduating in 1993. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 2, 2010.

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