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I’m surprised I need to say that autism is not due to parental sin. However, a Catholic priest from India has started preaching about this publicly and I think some people might be confused. I’m going to quote a bit of Fr. Valanmahal, then show that both Church teaching and science say parental sin does not cause autism.
Recently the Archbishop of Dublin forbade Fr. Dominic Valanmahal from coming to Ireland. The Irish Times covered the story and included words from a recent sermon.
Generation - Autism - Hyperactivity - Children
“Why does this generation have autism and hyperactivity? That is to say, mentally retarded children are in abundance.”
“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.”
Life - Animals - Children - Animals - Children
“They lead an animal-like life. They copulate like animals. They bear children like animals. Therefore those children also, will be like animals.”
I will deal with the causes of autism below, but this text has several other issues. First, intellectual disability and autism are two separate diagnoses. Autism and intellectual disability have high comorbidity but many of us have average or above-average IQ. For example, I, an autistic, am working on a doctorate. Likewise, I presume by hyperactivity, he is speaking of ADHD, which is not predictive of low intelligence in studies. Second, being autistic is not “an animal-like life.” I live a life much like most other humans, I struggle with some things such as reading people socially, but that is far from being “animal-like.”
Bishop - Calgary - Canada - Fr - Dominic
The bishop of Calgary, Canada also recently banned him from the diocese and Fr. Dominic canceled an Australia trip after similar concerns arose.
Fr. Valanmahal “Curing”
Irish - Times - Article - Autism - Prayer
The Irish Times article also states that he claims he “cured” autism by praying a prayer...
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