Brazilian priest denounces teaching of polyamory in school

Fr. Chrystian Shankar. Video capture. Fr. Chrystian Shankar. Video capture.

When Fr. Chrystian Shankar, a priest serving at the diocesan shrine dedicated to Friar Galvão in Divinopolis, learned from a mother in the community that her child had been given classes in school on polyamory, he denounced the practice in his June 18 sermon. 

The video of his sermon went viral and drew heavy criticism from professionals in education and psychology, who said they were offended by his remarks. 

The faithful decided to rally around their priest, and a few days later as he was about to begin Eucharistic Adoration they displayed signs saying “I support Fr. Chrystian.”

Fr. Shankar began the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and thanked him for the show of support that he said “was a response from God.”

“Today, in my prayers, I prayed asking God for a sign if I was really on the right path. Bishop José told me that this trial is a sign that we are on the right track. And knowing that you are also joining all of this gives me great joy," he added.

The priest thanked everyone for their show of support and commented that "sometimes it seems like I’m a one man army."

"But it’s not true. So many support us, pray for us. If you put a little bit of God in your home, our families will be better and we will have better days for our children,” he stressed.

The priest said he believes it is necessary to respect what people choose for their lives, but asked that "they leave our children, adolescents in peace so they can be raised in peace in the family."

"As long as we can instill in the hearts of children and pre-teens the values, the virtues, the way of Jesus, we must do so," he added.

During his June 18 homily, the priest read the material on polyamory that the adolescent's mother had given him, described as "new forms of love and family," and warned about this type of teaching that seeks to destroy the family and pervert children.

The video of the homily received pushback on social media, mainly in Divinopolis, where people and entities with ties to teachers and psychologists accused the priest of offending professionals in these two areas of study.

After the pushback Fr. Shankar’s words received, Bishop Jose Carlos de Souza Campos of Divinopolis met with the priest and asked him to retract “the generalizations and  irreverent and disrespectful way in which he spoke of the professionals in education and psychology, even if they have their own pedagogies and approaches to their specific work.”

On June 26, Fr. Shankar retracted and apologized live on Instagram to “serious professionals, good professionals who felt unfairly hurt” by his words.

He added that, although he made the retraction, it wasn't necessary, as it wasn’t his intention to talk about all education and psychology professionals, since "the subject was well situated, that situation, that psychologist, that teacher.”

He also stressed that what happened was "a very well orchestrated game", in which "they managed with great skill and intelligence to shift the focus off the issue, divert it away from the problem," putting the emphasis on the professional class, but not talking about the "gravity of what was taught.”

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