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Worcester Diocese Seeks To Have Priest Defrocked

Worcester Priest

12/30/11 07:29 AM ET   AP

WORCESTER, Mass. — A Roman Catholic diocese in Massachusetts has asked the Vatican to defrock a priest who is facing charges of possessing child pornography and stealing from his parish.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Worcester (WUH'-stur) tells The Telegram & Gazette () that Bishop Robert McManus has asked the pope to defrock the Rev. Lowe Dongor. http://bit.ly/rqPrfv

Diocese officials say they are seeking to laicize Dongor in the wake of a "clarification" last spring by Vatican officials that child pornography possession is grounds for removal from the priesthood.

Authorities say images of preteen girls were found on Dongor's computer. He also is accused of stealing $40 to $60 from St. Joseph parish in Fitchburg on several occasions. He was released after pleading not guilty and suspended from ministry. It is believed he fled to his native Philippines.

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Filed by Paul Brandeis Raushenbush  |