Why do children not deserve to be baptized? A letter to the pope

Tags: ,

A friend of mine Brian Tessier just wrote a letter to Pope Francis, that I think is worth sharing with all of you – and I encourage you to share it with others.

September 13, 2013

Dear Francis,

I never thought I would actually sit down to craft a letter to a person who is the Bishop or Rome, Head of the Catholic Church but more importantly a representation of the Christ Spirit that does exist on earth. Admittedly, I have watched since your taking office like many others in my position to see who you were going to be and more importantly how you were going to lead. I can say, while I never lost faith, you have restored hope.

I was raised in a devout Catholic family, attended church regularly, was an altar boy and attended and graduated from a Catholic College. I always held my faith in my heart but also explored and listened to those of other faiths and found that as long as someone was on a path toward goodness, then, there was an inherent worth and dignity due them, regardless of their status in life, their past or other distinctions as I saw everyone as a child of god. In fact, I do not think there is a faith in the world that does not hold children in the highest regard. Christ, spoke often of children and what they bring and their inherent spirit and innate faith. Even today, I consider myself as a child of God.

I grew to maturity, suffered hardship but never lost faith or hope. I was never one not to follow my dreams and passions and pursued one of those despite all odds to become the adoptive father to two children who I adopted from Foster Care. My sons were born into this world in less than perfect beginnings. One born addicted to drugs, the other who suffered at the hands of a man while he was in utero and while and infant and many other things. By the grace of God, they survived and through what I call divine providence, we were brought together as a family.

As both of my children are latin and were born Catholic, I felt it was their inherent birthright to be baptized in the church and raised to follow the footsteps of Jesus in all of the magical simplicity and love that he brought to the world. I asked about having my children baptized and was told “NO”. Through a prominent Bishop in the US, I had the inquiry go all the way to Rome and the answer was still “NO”. Ironic as I am a distant relative of the late Pope John Paul, as I am of Polish descent. While I maintained Faith, I lost hope.

The reason I was given was that because I am a Gay man, the church would not baptize them. So, for the purported sins of the father my children were and are denied their birthright. Ultimately, as I wanted my children raised in a faith tradition, I left the church and have been raising them in another faith where they and I were welcomed as a family without regard to anything but the love that binds us. 

I have also worked tirelessly to help adoptive parents become families and with the LGBT community to help children come from Foster Care to a forever home to be nurtured and loved. All the while I had faith, yet, when the church abruptly closed Catholic Charities across the United States over the issue of placing children in LGBT homes with loving parents, I was one of the people who saw 1000’s of children immediately displaced. Would Christ have done such a thing and turned his back on the children. Would John the Baptist have denied Jesus, baptism in the river Jordan based on some extrinsic quality?

So, as I watch you convene the world in prayers for peace, touch the young, the sick, the poor without regard for the external trappings, I simply ask why my children are not entitled to that grace and I am therefore not allowed a place in the house of worship I was raised in along with my sons that does not disparage who I love but recognizes the immense capacity I have for love?

Faithfully Yours,

Brian Tessier

On Twitter as: @NTtionalFather

Please reblog.  

%d bloggers like this: