THE murder of a 17-year-old gay youth at the hands of his homophobic mother has galvanized worshipers of Antinous in Brazil.
Priest DECUS RIBEIRO says: "Itaberlly Lozano was stabbed to death by his own mother and then his body was burned in a field … solely because his mother said he "brought boys home" with him."
Decus notes that more than 1,000 homophobic murders have been reported in the past three years in Brazil … and the number is rising as Evangelical fundamentalists make hate-speeches against homosexuality.
"It is with solemn grief but also with righteous pride that we, the São Paulo Temple of Brazil, have nominated Itaberlly Lozano as a martyr saint for 2017," Priest Decus said in a statement to his fellow priests in North America, Britain and Europe.
The horrific murder occurred on December 29, but only surfaced this week. The body of the adolescent was found on January 7, charred, in a sugar cane field near Cravinhos, in the interior of São Paulo, and on January 11, the mother and stepfather were arrested by the Civil Police, suspected of the crime.
In a statement to the police, Itaberlly's mother, Tatiana Ferreira Lozano Pereira, 32, confessed to the murder and declared that she "could not take it anymore".
He was killed with three stab wounds in the neck and his stepfather helped to get rid of the body by burning it in a field.
Tatiana's lawyer claimed that the boy was a drug user and had a police record, however, so far there has been no confirmation of that conduct.
According to Itaberlly's uncle, Dario Rosa, he was a hard-working boy, who had frequent quarrels at home because Tatiana did not accept that he was homosexual.
The uncle on the father's side also says that on December 27, the young man decided to move in with him and his paternal grandmother, but after receiving a call from his mother he decided to go home on December 29 … and disappeared.
As if the whole case and its nuances were not shocking enough, Priest Decus reports there have been appalling comments on the news reports by people who defend Tatiana's attitude and justify the crime based on the sexual orientation and "depravity" of Itaberlly.
"The discourse of these people who blame the victim and regard homosexuality as behavior that needs to be punished is symptomatic of how much homophobia and hatred are trivialized by society in Brazil," says Decus.
In a statement from the Hollywood Temple of Antinous, Flamen ANTONIUS SUBIA condemns the martyrdom of Itaberlly and says: "May Antinous hold him in his arms as the barque of a million years gently rocks him sleep. Antinous and Hadrian are his loving parents now. Blessed be to him."