Father Dominic Valanmanal claims he cured children of autism through prayer. He stated previously that people ‘addicted’ to adultery, masturbation, homosexuality and porn have a high risk of bearing autistic children. Further, Valanmanal said children with autism were ‘like animals’.
“Adultery, masturbation, homosexuality, porn — if you are addicted to these, I say to you in the name of God… when you get married and have children, there is a high possibility of bearing these type of children.
“They lead an animal-like life, they copulate like animals, they bear children like animals.
“Therefore those children also, will be like animals.”
The priest previously planned a five-day retreat on Philip Island in September, and another in Canberra.
The event sold out at a cost of around $400 per person to attend.
Father Dominic Valanmanal’s retreat cancelled.
However, yesterday the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle, Melbourne announced the cancellation of the retreat.
This cancellation follows the cancellation of similar events in Ireland and Canada.
Members of Melbourne’s Indian Catholic community campaigned against the event.
Binoy Zacharias, from that community set up a Change.org petition against the priest’s visit.
Binoy said on the petition that, as a parent of a child with autism, Valanmanal’s preaching outraged him.
Further Binoy said he wanted “to block his visit to Australia and stop his spreading of hateful and inaccurate preaching.”
He said Valanmanal “linked homosexuality with autism in his sermons… referred to children with autism as animals.”
Further, the outraged father said the priest drew “links between alcoholism, masturbation and homosexuality as the reason for children having autism.”
“He alleges that he has cured many children with autism and continues to conduct Catholic retreats to heal people with autism.”
Although Valanmanal issued a statement apologising for his statements on autism, the apology contained no retraction.
He described his words as ‘misinterpreted and misunderstood’ and his apology focused on the hurt his words caused, not their inaccuracy.
Defenders of the priest claim the video of his sermon was doctored.
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