MA--Victims want Catholics to do more re 3 predators
For immediate release: Thursday, June 25
Exactly three decade after he was suspended because of child sex crimes, the Vatican has defrocked one of Worcester’s most notorious predator priests, along with two other child molesting clerics. But local Catholic officials, who hid these decisions for at least six months, must do more.
Robert E. Kelley, Lowe B. Dongor and Gerard L. Branconnier are no longer priests. Worcester Bishop Robert McManus should use his vast resources to aggressively seek out and help others who are suffering because they were sexually violated as kids by these pedophiles. And he should defrock, demote, discipline and denounce current and former church staffers who ignored or concealed their crimes.
Kelley was twice convicted of molesting kids, served two prison terms and is a registered sex offender. He worked at churches in Southbridge, Lunenburg, Leominster, and Gardner.
Branconnier was supposedly suspended from active ministry in 1993 for abusing a boy at North American Martyrs Parish in Auburn. But in 2006, that alleged that Branconnier was continuing to function as a priest.
Dongor studied at Assumption College and St. Mary Seminary and was removed in 2001 from St. Joseph Parish in Fitchburg because computer technicians found child pornography on his computer and called police. Later he was arrested and fled to the Philippines 11/11. Vatican asked to laicize him. In 2012, he was extradited to the US and pled guilty.
We hope this belated, grudging and paltry move brings some healing to the dozens who were assaulted by these clerics. And we hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered their crimes – or cover ups by Worcester Catholic officials – will get help, protect kids, call police, expose wrongdoers, deter cover ups and start healing.
1) For a moving account by a victim of Kelley, see
2) Photos of all three are at BishopAccountability.org. According to that organization, there are 41 publicly accused Worcester area child molesting clerics.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)