Recently, the Catholic Church released a statement saying that in the past 52 years, there have been over 4,000 priests accused of sexual misconduct against children.
There is no excuse for such a blatant betrayal of trust and absence of decency, especially by someone like a priest who is the most trusted member in a community.
But a fact that is usually left out about this scandal is that the priests who are accused of these acts only make up 4 percent of all the priests that have served the Church in 52 years.
Priests have become the latest victims of hurtful stereotypes. The media tells the American public that all black males are violent, all Hispanics are thieves and now, all priests are pedophiles. I refuse to believe it.
Fear and panic has stricken Catholics almost everywhere as a result of the latest abuse numbers. Families who have known priests their whole lives are now questioning their trust in them and are starting to feel uncomfortable about leaving their children around them.
The fact is that only 4 percent of priests are accused of sex abuse; which is a percentage hardly large enough to cause distrust of every priest in America. The vast majority of priests are completely trustworthy, and to question the moral integrity of every priest is ridiculous.
Also, the media seems to have an endless repertoire of stories and jokes about priests molesting children. The news clamors to report on any accusations of priest misconduct, and priests are being portrayed as evil predators. Meanwhile, comedy shows take heartless shots at priests in general, saying that people should guard their children from them.
The public should be careful of victimizing another group of people due to the media’s depiction. For a victim of a stereotyped group, such as blacks and hispanics, to participate in the generalization of priests as child molesters is pure hypocrisy.
We are aware of the extremely detrimental effects of stereotypes, and we know the news will always accentuate the negative and downplay the positive. Society needs to learn from its mistakes, and not make priests another casualty of slanted media portrayal.
Jeff Wright is a freshman business administration student from Chicago. He is an assistant opinions editor for The Famuan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.