Bill Nemitz’ Jan. 1 article is grossly unfair in discussing sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests without reference to the level of abuse found in public schools. He writes the sexual abuse scandal is the “elephant in the room” for Catholics leaving the church. If that were true, the public schools would be completely abandoned by now.

A U.S. Department of Education 2004 published report by Dr. Charol Shakeshaft “Educator Sexual Misconduct” concluded: “10 percent of American students are victims of sexual misconduct by public school employees each year.” She told Education Week that “the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”

Recently New York City was paying more than $40 million annually in salaries alone for teachers not to teach, many of whom were charged with sexual molestation. Unlike the Catholic Church, New York City still has no background checks for new teachers. In 2010 a former prostitute got tenure after her former status was disclosed. Unlike the situation with priests, these are not old accusations.

The truth is, the church has less of a problem today than any other institution, secular or religious. The 2010 survey on clergy abuse turned up a total of seven credible (not proven) allegations against over 40,000 priests.

Nemitz, like many in the media, continue to put the worst possible face on this issue, while ignoring the good news. They never seem interested doing a story on all the priests who have been found innocent, who have had to suffer the indignity of having their good name dragged through the mud. While all sexual abuse must be condemned unequivocally, attempts to condemn one segment of the population must also be condemned.

Ron J. Stauble Sr.


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