Dear Father Lynch.
You don't know me but I have heard a great deal about you. My mother regularly attends services at your church. She is often touched by your sermons and will repeat the sentiments to my siblings and I. I find this amusing since my mother knows that I consider myself an Agnostic and a Recovering Catholic. Even with this knowledge, she insists on sharing her, and ultimately your, religious views with me. I listen to her (I can still honor thy mother and father) but honestly, I am rarely interested.
My lack of interest changed last week.
The most recent conversation centered around a recent mass where you invited all families that had lost children to the come to the altar for a blessing. My mother was quite impressed that you invited parents that had lost children to war, miscarriage AND abortion. She was very struck by your inclusion of mothers who had aborted their children. I asked her if you had invited mothers who lost children to adoption. She did not recall. My suspicion, based on her tentative, slight paused and very confused response, was that you did not.
I urge you in the future, Father Lynch, please include mothers who lost children to adoption to join in the blessing or grieving. The Catholic Church has been separating mothers and children for decades under the false pretense that adoption is a better option than being raised by a single mother or being aborted. Through your misguided teachings you have caused life long wounds to mothers and children the world round. It would seem to me that if your church, your sermons, are willing to bless women who have aborted children you can certainly include those that have lost their children to adoption due to the poor guidance you gave them.
I am one of those women, Father Lynch. I was once a frightened, single, seventeen year old girl with child. Raised with an Irish Catholic mother and a Polish Catholic Father, the message was clear. I had sinned. I would go to hell. I did not deserve my child but rather she deserved to be abandoned by me and placed into the hands of complete strangers.
I am not going to hell when I die, Father Lynch. I have lived in hell since the day I lost my daughter to a baby broker. I have spent my life since that time working tirelessly to support single mothers to keep and raise their children. I have worked hard, at my own expense with no weekly donations placed in a basket, to reunite mothers and children. I also work to educate the public, and that includes you. If I were to still believe in your teachings, I might say I have done sufficient penance, don't you think?
I am not the praying type any more Father Lynch, but if you can, please consider allowing me, an Agnostic/Recovering Catholic, one final prayer to your god.
I pray the next time you welcome mothers to your altar, the next time you hold the hands of grieving mothers, you will include the mothers who lost their children to adoption as well as abortion. Consider that your penance.