Father Dominic Valamanal, belonging to the Eastern Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, “is a Catholic priest under the diocese of Kanjirapally and serving as the Director of Marian Retreat Centre Anakkara Kerala.” He leads healing and deliverance (charismatic) retreats in different parishes in India and some Syro-Malabar Catholics in diaspora abroad.
“Alcohol, cigarette, beedi [Indian rolled-leaf cigarettes], narcotics, Pan Parag [chewing tobacco], 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 types of children,” he preached in Malayalam language in Kerala and available on Youtube (the CBC television of Canada independently verified the English translation of this).
Father Valamanal continues, “The young men and women are not filled with the Holy Spirit anymore. Afterward, they lead an animal-life. They copulate like animals. They bear children like animals. Therefore, those children will be like animals.”
Father Valmanal also said he “cured” a boy with autism during a visit to Ireland. He had said in the boy’s home: “I bind the spirit of autism and hyperactivity that has infested this house. I banish it. Banished to the foot of Jesus’ cross.”
His ‘fire and brimstone’ preaching in these retreats attracts some but repels others. Some diaspora Catholics requested their local bishops to cancel these retreats. As a result, retreats due to be held in Canada, Australia, and Ireland have already been cancelled.
According to the www.webmd.com, autism is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors. Because of the range of symptoms, this condition is now called autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
How is autism caused? “Some genetic mutations seem to be inherited, while others occur spontaneously. Environmental factors. Researchers are currently exploring whether factors such is viral infections, medications or complications during pregnancy, or air pollutants play a role in triggering autism spectrum disorder.”
In this scientifically enlightened modern-day, Father Valmanal blames parents’ mortal sins for their children’s autism, as some Old Testament writers mentioned sins of the parents for their children’s physical and mental problems. Let’s see what Jesus said on the same subject: “As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:1-3)
If this priest’s words were correct, let’s ask him what sins cause high blood pressure and stroke, heart attack, cholera, tuberculosis, malaria, ebola virus attack, influenza, etc.
We also need to ask this self-righteous priest what sins of parents caused so many Catholic priests and bishops engage in different types of sex abuses all over the world. He mentions of demons possessing autistic children, but what about demons possessing clergy sex abusers? He should go among these sinful priests and heal them of masturbatory demons, pedophile demons, homosexual demons, heterosexual demons, and other types of demons.
His pure judgmental, condemning, and punishing attitude may further his cause and prestige as a ‘forthright speaker,’ but he is using these autistic children and their parents in such a way that it tantamounts to blackmailing – making the parents feel ashamed, demeaned, pathetic, and worthless. He claims to have cured a child or two miraculously. If God works through him, why cure only a few, why not all autistic children of the rest of the world? Why not go among Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, and other religionists and non-believers and cure them all using such a language?
Priests need to be careful about defamation when speaking or delivering their sermons. “Generally, defamation is a false and unprivileged statement of fact that is harmful to someone’s reputation, and published ‘with fault,’ meaning as a result of negligence or malice. Libel is written defamation, and slander is spoken defamation." If an affected or disgruntled person files a lawsuit, a priest may fall into a real problem.
A priest or bishop, who speaks in such an accusing and condemning language, needs to get reorientation on the teachings of the Second Vatican Council (especially, on the place and role of the laity in the Church, and that priests and bishops are there to serve the laity religiously and spiritually and they are not to rule over them – they are to practise servant leadership,); teachings of Pope Francis (love, compassion, and mercy – including the evil effects of clericalism).
Bishops who allow such priests to go around and speak in accusing terms and charge high fees (about $400 per participant of retreats abroad) become complicit in their ‘sins.’ Participation in other’s sins is an important teaching of the Catholic Church, although many religious superiors, priests and bishops forget about it in real life.
For more on Father Dominic Valamanal, please read the following:
Ireland to cancel invite to Kerala Catholic priest who compared autistic kids to animals (June 9, 2019)
Church in Ireland cancels invite to priest comparing kids with autism to animals (June 11, 2019)
Calgary diocese cancels retreat with priest who linked homosexuality with autism (June 20, 2019)
Catholic priest who linked autism to homosexuality cancels Australian appearance (July 18, 2019)
Let not miracle cure trap you! By Ben Knight (July 24, 2019)
Fr. Dominic Valanmanal (Facebook)
The writer Jerome D'Costa is based in TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA. Originally, he hails from Bangladesh, now settled in Canada. He is a blogger, writer, translator, journalist, and photographer. He studied Journalism at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh (1972), and Communications Arts at the University of Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. (1977). He is the former editor of the ‘Pratibeshi’ (the national Catholic weekly in Bangladesh) and former Associate Director of World Vision of Bangladesh, Dhaka.
The article has been published in CCV based on the following email dated 9th August 2019 from the writer:
Dear Mr. Gomes:
Greetings! If you want you may include the following write-up of mine in your website.