Just months after Father Dominic Valanmanal was uninvited from attending parish retreats in Canada and Ireland for comparing autistic children to animals, the priest will now counsel autistic children.
Valanmanal has reportedly scheduled a two-day ‘counselling session’ followed by a ‘prayer meet’ specifically for children with autism and their parents who would accompany them. A staffer at the Renewal Retreat Centre told TNM,
“Parents can come with or without the child a few days in advance. Father Dominic will counsel the parents over two days and a prayer meet will be held on November 19. It is a must that the concerned child attends this prayer meet even if they do not attend the counselling sessions.”
Fr Valanmanal controversial sermon
Fr Valanmanal, the director of the Marian Retreat Centre at Anakkara in Idukki, Kerala, had said in a sermon video that people who watch porn, commit adultery or are in same-sex relationships are “at risk” of having children with autism.
“Why does this generation have autism and hyperactivity…Alcohol, cigarette, beedi, narcotics, paan, adultery, masturbation, homosexuality, porn – if you are addicted to any of these, I say to you in the name of God. Dear children, keep in mind, tomorrow when you get married and have children, there is a high possibility of bearing these type of children…Afterwards, they lead an animal-like life. They copulate like animals. They bear children like animals. Therefore, those children will also be like animals. Animals do not speak, they do not have ears and can’t hear. It is not human,” he was heard saying.
Withdrawl of invites
Fr Valanmanal was supposed to attend a parish retreat in Ireland in August. However, the Syro-Malabar community in Ireland petitioned the Archbishop of Dublin to withdraw their invitation and ban Valanmanal from entering the country. The Archbishop later asked the organisers to follow thrown, leading to the invitation being withdrawn. Following this, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary, which had invited Valanmanal for a ‘deliverance and healing’ retreat, also withdrew their invite.