Media Presence

Near the end of August I wrote this piece for Catholic Sistas responding to the crisis and scandal in the church.  One of the measures I encouraged readers to undertake was to write their bishops and encourage them to take bold, decisive action at the USCCB meeting in November. Following my own counsel I wrote the following letter to my own bishop.

Bishop Oscar A. Solis
Diocese of Salt Lake 
27 C Street
Salt Lake City  UT 84103

Your Excellency;

I want to thank you for your devoted service to our community as our bishop.  In these trying times it is comforting to know we have a good and faithful shepherd.

The recent breaking scandals in the Church have become a source of uncertainty and distress for myself and my family. We feel these tribulations call for deep prayer and decisive action from the entire Body of Christ. 

Upon your first visit to our home parish of Saint James the Just, you warmly greeted our young son who served on the altar.  He recalls you asking if he would consider ever becoming a priest.  Your personal attention really made an impression upon him.  To this day, he still serves on the altar as often as he can, even learning to serve in the Extraordinary form.

Unfortunately, the recent news of scandalous and evil behavior in seminaries has made us reconsider our consent in allowing our sons to pursue potential vocations to the priesthood.  We are overwhelmed with grief and fear for the future of the priesthood and the future of the Church.

As a family, we are praying, fasting, and making reparations for Holy Mother Church, the Pope, bishops and priests. That is our call to action and we are grateful we can do such.

I’m writing today to ask what are you willing to do to heal the evil that has been done? I read your statement released soon after the Pennsylvania report was made public. Thank you for your courage and leadership in that regard.  

I am hoping you are willing to take even bolder action, especially when you meet with brother bishops of the USCCB in November.  Please make the protection of our children, young men, and seminarians a priority, not only within your own diocese, but within the entire Church. Please support the effort to make all Church personnel, including the hierarchy accountable for those failures made in protecting the flock. Please make a call for the resignation of any Church personnel who knew or participated in attempts to cover up abuse within the Church. Please urge your brother bishops to demand a full investigation into the latest charges leveled against prominent members of the hierarchy by Archbishop Vigano. 

The wounds are deep.  There is much work to be done to heal our beloved Church.  We are counting on courageous and faithful shepherds to lead the way.  Be assured of our family’s constant prayers for you.

+Ad Jesum per Mariam+

In Christ,
Maurisa Mayerle

I mailed the letter to the bishop's office and also posted it publicly on Facebook.  About three weeks later I was contacted by a local news agency wanting to interview me regarding my letter and the state of the crisis in Utah. An hour long interview resulted in a short news article and about 15 seconds of air time, but at least my letter to Bishop Solis was also published in full.  The story can be read and watched here. *I never did hear back from Bishop Solis.

About a month ago I was contacted again. This time by a national publication, The Atlantic. She'd come across my writing for Catholic Sistas and the interview with the local news. Researching a piece regarding the abuse summit in the Vatican and how parents are handling the crisis in their families, the journalist asked if I'd be willing to speak with her about how we are addressing the issue with our children.  My editor for CS and I decided I would not agree to be interviewed for this piece and offered to have her interview an expert my editor knew who is an abuse survivor.  The journalist wasn't much interested in the expert, which was puzzling, and pushed me to give her someone I might know who would be willing to speak with her.  I decided the best man for the job would be Chris and she was satisfied to speak with him.  

His phone interview lasted over an hour. I quietly sat in on it and I felt like he gave her some great material to work with.  On Sunday, she emailed him to let him know the piece had been published and sent him a link. It's quite a long piece and while it completely ignores the lavender elephant of the scandal, and included quotes from folks I would not quite call "faithful Catholics", the majority of the article did include rational, well thought out responses from at least 3 wonderful sources--my husband, Kendra Tierney of Catholic All Year and Haley Stewart of Carrots for Michaelmas.  Not only did his interview receive three full paragraphs, he received the very last word in the piece.  You can read the full Atlantic article here.

The scandals have been deflating to faithful, Catholic laymen. Our bishops may not be listening. The hierarchy may not be listening. The Pope may not be listening. You know who is listening--the secular media and they are being pretty fair about reporting how Catholics are feeling without mocking us for choosing to stay. Don't get me wrong, I don't for one second think they are on our side. They are completely shying away from one of the root causes of the crisis--the deliberate infiltration of the homosexual agenda--but they are more than willing to hear us out and publish our words.  This may be the only way to get our bishops, cardinals, and Pope to finally listen to us.

The Church is the holy bride of Christ. She is worth fighting for. We need to pick up our rosaries and do battle in the best way we can. Speak out, pray the rosary, call upon the angels and saints to assist us in this war. We are the Church Militant. We need to start acting like it.


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