New Diocese Abuse Office
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The Catholic Diocese of Johnstown Altoona announced a new office Thursday dedicated to protecting youth and children. This morning, they also announced the director of the office,Cindy O'Connor, but the diocese efforts have former abuse victims concerned. Some advocates say they're concerned this could be a conflict of interest because the director is Catholic and is a member of the Diocese. They say they would rather see someone outside the church who has a track record of exposing and fixing problems like abuse in an institution. Some say they're optimistic about having an office like this to protect children at all and they think it's a step in the right direction. But they also say they're worried it's too close to home. "Looking at the track record of the church and the dealing with abuse of children, we have no reason to have any kinds of confidence, but we trusted the church and church people and leaders to protect children and to bring the perpetrators to justice in the past and they have failed miserably." "They should have some independent people there for the oversight to ensure to people like me that independent thought is being introduced as well." Faithful Catholics Against Pedophilia released a statement saying the organization "It's looking forward to a meaningful relationship with O'Conner and wishes her much success in cleansing the Diocese of any remaining pedophiles who have managed to avoid detection as well as anyone who has covered up their crimes. We encourage her to be proactive and approachable with the community and the victims."