The head of a group for people once abused by clergy finds a parallel in the way society once handled the issue of adoption. Joyce Connors heads the “Office for Protection of Children” in Dubuque Catholic ArchDiocese. “When I look back 25, 35 and forty years ago at how adoptions were handled and how birthparents were treated back then, in the light of today, it was not handled real well,” Connors says. Connors has worked for over fourteen years as a counselor, and served as the archdiocese adoption coordinator. She says today adoption is handled totally differently than it was forty years ago because we’ve learned over the years there are better ways of doing it. Without making excuses for the church, she says society handled many things differently in the past than it does today. If you look at the legal system, people caught abusing minors forty years ago who went through the legal weren’t well handled, if you analyzed that in the light of what we know today. Connors says there’s no doubt many people suffered abuse and were treated shamefully when they tried to report it, and she says the church is doing what it can to hear their stories and determine what it should do.
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