I found this statement by Father Tom Brosnan at the NYSAR website. I am a fan of his from way back. I have referenced his “must read” 1996 keynote address many times in the past and even have handed out printed copies of the speech to new searchers, family, friends and equal access non-believers alike.
I can only imagine how much less therapy I would have needed had he been my priest when I was growing up! The damage done to a child whose very nature is based upon a foundation of deceit cannot be measured. How any parent could possibly think secrets and lies benefit anyone, PARTICULARLY their child, is beyond me. All late find adoptees can attest to this I’m sure. As can each of us whose true identities are locked away in the Vault of Shame.
THANK YOU Father Tom! Please keep speaking truth. You are appreciated more than you will ever know.
Please visit and support NYSAR!
Father Tom Brosnan, reunited adoptee, activist and spokesperson for the Adoption Reform Movement
The scandal in the Catholic Church is about sex but it’s also about abuse of power on the part of bishops who, for fear of scandal, kept secret from unwitting parishioners the fact that priests reassigned to their parishes were accused and, more often than not, guilty of sexually abusing children. The bishops’ pitiful posture in relation to the crisis is mirrored in the secrecy they employ in other matters as well, especially those concerning adopted adults.
Catholic adoptees who request their original baptismal certificates are issued instead so-called amended certificates stating, with Episcopal approbation, the following lies: that we adopted were born to our adoptive parents; that we were baptized by them at a time after our actual baptism (implying falsely that we were baptized twice); and, in the case of many, the name given us at baptism changed to match the adoptive name on our amended birth certificates (symbolically negating the whole point of baptism – to name the child before God).
When we ask to see the original baptismal we are told that it is forbidden – by order of the local bishop. We shall not see the names in which we were baptized; or the names of those who gave us birth; or the place in which we were baptized. Because, the bishops say, confidentiality promised birthmothers must be protected (even when it wasn’t promised – even when they don’t want it). Ironically, the position that a mother should have a right to privacy – even from her own child, is forthrightly condemned by the bishops in their opposition to Roe v. Wade.
Hypocritical? For certain. But hypocrisy is but a symptom of a much more metastasized sickness – a long and heavy addiction to secrecy. “The very soul of bureaucracy,” Simone Weil once called it, “the root of all oppression.”