A high-profile preacher who lied about having cancer has promised to return any money he received from donors.
Michael Guglielmucci’s father, who is also a preacher, has told the congregation of their church in Adelaide’s south that his son needs their prayers more than ever.
Michael Guglielmucci spent two years playing to packed houses on the Christian rock scene, sending an anthem of faith and healing to the top of the charts.
But last week the Melbourne-based pastor came clean about the terminal cancer he did not actually have.
His father Danny issued a public apology to the congregation this week.
“Mike thought he could escape the pain by creating a diversion from his addiction to adult pornography, so he created the cancer scenario,” he said.
Danny Guglielmucci is a founder of Edge Church International, at Reynella in Adelaide, part of the Assemblies of God network.
His son was a pastor with Planetshakers, an international Christian youth movement that started in Adelaide.
“We fully understand the questions, shock, disbelief and even anger you may feel, but Michael is struggling with a different kind of illness and is receiving professional help,” the pastor told the congregation.
“As a result of this secret life of sin, my body would often break down. I would report the cause of my symptoms simply as illnesses but the truth is, that although I was ill, I did not have cancer, but again used a mis-diagnosis to hide the lie that I was living,” the statement said.
Hillsong is using copyright infringement to have copies of Michael Guglielmucci’s “Healer” yanked from YouTube. This is a fair use excerpt from the video, explaining why Hillsong is attempting to deep-six the video. […more…]
He preached to thousands about his terminal illness and tugged at hearts with a hit song.
The problem is the pastor wasn’t dying at all
Michael Guglielmucci, who inspired hundreds of thousands of young Christians with his terminal cancer “battle”, has been exposed as a fraud.
Guglielmucci, whose parents established Edge Church International, an Assemblies of God church at O’Halloran Hill in Adelaide’s southern suburbs, now is seeking professional help.
Earlier this year, Mr Guglielmucci released a hit song, Healer , which was featured on Sydney church Hillsong’s latest album.
The song debuted at No. 2 on the ARIA charts.
It since has become an anthem of faith for believers, many of whom are suffering their own illness and were praying for a miracle for Mr Guglielmucci, who has claimed for two years to be terminally ill.
In one church performance that has attracted 300,000 hits on YouTube, he performs his hit song with an oxygen tube in his nose.
It appears Mr Guglielmucci, who was a pastor with one of Australia’s biggest youth churches, Planetshakers, may even have deceived his own family.
“This news has come as a great shock to everyone including, it seems, his own wife and family,” Hillsong general manager George Aghajanian said in an email to his congregation yesterday.
“Michael has confirmed that he is not suffering with a terminal illness and is seeking professional help in Adelaide with the support of his family. We are asking our church to pray for the Guglielmucci family during this difficult time.”
The father of disgraced pastor Michael Guglielmucci has revealed his son has been addicted to pornography since the age of 12.
Danny Guglielmucci – whose high-profile preacher son last week week admitted his two-year battle with cancer was fake – said the “severe addiction to pornography” was part of a bizarre double life his son had been leading.
Mr Guglielmucci, who established Edge Church International, an Assemblies of God church in Adelaide, said Melbourne-based Michael had made a full confession to his family about his past, including revelations about the 16-year porn obsession and the lies over his supposed battle with terminal illness.
Mr Guglielmucci said he and wife Sharonne – who founded Edge Church International with him – were struggling to comprehend what their son had done.
“His wife (Amanda), who has been with him for seven years, found out the day before we did and she’s had no idea.
“Michael has had a severe addiction to pornography. The addiction to pornography started when he was 12.
“It’s horrendous because we don’t have that sort of stuff around. He was raised in a Christian home; we’ve never brought that stuff into our home.”
Michael Guglielmucci was one of Australia’s highest-profile Christian preachers, inspiring hundreds of thousands around the world as he performed his hit song Healer with an oxygen tube in his nose.
He was a pastor with Planetshakers, a Christian youth movement that began in Adelaide and has grown into an international ministry.
But that all came crashing down this week when his deception became public.
Mr Guglielmucci said his son finally confessed after the guilt of his lies and addiction became overwhelming.Michael Guglielmucci Today Tonight 25/08/08
“He lived the two lives and he would get sick as a result of the guilt,” he said.
“He was feeling like he was letting God down, letting his family down, his church, his friends.
“He’s been living this for so long, feeling like he’s had these two lives and now he’s the one that’s come out in the open. He confessed it, he didn’t get caught.
“To deal with the guilt he would pour himself into doing good work. He’s touched the lives of young people all over the world. Now they are all affected by this.
“He hasn’t done this for any reasons that have been portrayed that he’s a fraud.
“It was either keep pretending or come out with the truth and tell everything. He’s come out with everything but now we’ve got the consequences of it all.
Pastor Michael Guglielmucci has been told by church officials to report to police, who will investigate what has happened to money raised during his cancer deception.
The Australian Christian Churches told The Advertiser yesterday that it was auditing Mr Guglielmucci’s bank accounts, which included money donated from people touched by his hit song Healer.
Mr Guglielmucci confessed his two-year fraudulent cancer battle at a national executive meeting of the ACC on Saturday, and was stripped of his credentials.
Edge Church International’s executive pastor Jonathan Fontanarosa said Mr Guglielmucci had “made it clear that he is not sick”.
“But we’re waiting on further investigation to find out the full truth,” he said. “The church is in shock . . . we were totally unaware of the situation.”
t was decided at Saturday’s meeting that a statement would be read on Mr Guglielmucci’s behalf at churches around Australia this Sunday.
But an email sent on Wednesday from Sydney’s Hillsong Church detailing the hoax was obtained by The Advertiser.
It also said Mr Guglielmucci’s wife and family were unaware of the deception. The Melbourne-based preacher is in Adelaide, but has gone to ground.
His parents, who founded Edge Church International, an Assemblies of God church at Reynella, are assisting him while he seeks professional help.
The ACC has promised that all money raised deceptively will be returned or donated to charity.
The Assemblies of God, Australia’s largest Pentecostal movement, adopted its new name of Australian Christian Churches in 2007.
The former pastor with one of Australia’s biggest youth churches, Planetshakers, inspired hundreds of thousands of young Christians around the world as he performed with an oxygen tube in his nose.
Disgraced pastor Michael Guglielmucci has written to Police Commissioner Mal Hyde offering to fully co-operate with any police inquiries into his fake illness.
A statement from Edge Church International General Manager Steve Hilder– sent to The Advertiser a short time ago – advises that the letter, written by Mr Guglielmucci’s lawyer, says the police will be told “all pertinent information”.
The statement also states that Mr Guglielmucci is an “itinerate minister who held a credential with the Australian Christian Churches”
“His credential was immediately suspended,” it says.
“The National Executive of the ACC is taking this matter very seriously and is awaiting the results of the medical tests before determining the full extent of the discipline that will be imposed upon him.
“Michael Guglielmucci has not been a paid staff member of Edge Church for eight years.
“Edge Church is committed to the truth and honouring the people of our church. Our history has been one of integrity and openness. We love the people of our community (who) have been actively involved in trying to bring life and hope to the hurting and the needy and will continue to do so.
“Hope, truth and love is not just our motto, it is our life mission.”
Earlier, it emerged that it took 11 days before the pentecostal church exposed the details of pastor Michael Guglielmucci’s fictitious battle with cancer.
Danny Guglielmucci, the father of the fallen pastor and founder of Edge Church International at Reynella, told his faithful followers yesterday the church went public at “our first opportunity”.
The man at the centre of the scandal that has rocked the church, also spoke publicly for the first time yesterday. But his words only came in a written statement, which claimed the reason behind his fictitious cancer story was to hide his 16-year obsession with pornography.
The father of fallen pastor Michael Guglielmucci, Danny, read this brief statement to a packed congregation to explain his son’s actions.
“Today is a very sad day for our family and church family.
For many years our son, Michael has suffered from unexplained illnesses. We have been worried as we have seen him suffer and spend periods of time in hospital.
Two years ago our lives were totally turned around by the sad news of our sons’ cancer diagnosis. The love and support shown by our local church and all of our many friends around the world helped us get through a very difficult situation.
During the last two years we have experienced the favor of God, his love and grace, and also the constant pain of the possibility of losing a son.
On Tuesday 12th of August we received a call to come and meet with Mike and Amanda but weren’t ready for what we were about to hear. Mike began to share how he has lived a lie for the last 16 years of his life because of addictive behavior he couldn’t break free from.
He loved God and would throw himself into prayer, worship, and serving God with full energy and enthusiasm but still couldn’t break free.
In September in 2006, Mike had an accident and went to hospital. It was at this time, because of his torment of living a double life, Mike thought he could escape the pain by creating a diversion from his addiction to adult pornography, so he created the cancer scenario.
The pain of this addiction was so deep that he started something he couldn’t stop and proceeded on a downward spiral that led to him experiencing pain and suffering that resulted in constant vomiting and many other symptoms of a genuine sufferer.
Sharonne and I witnessed these episodes and pained and wept over his suffering. Michael wrote the song Healer because he wanted God to set him free from his addiction but hid it behind the lie of a fabricated illness.
Once he had started down this track he felt he couldn’t stop so he continued to act out this sickness, feeling he had gone too deep into the lie.
I can’t begin to tell you how much this is hurting us on the inside. A few weeks ago Mike had a dream of Jesus on the cross looking down on him saying, ‘the truth will set you free’ and so he decided to confess and bring everything out into the open.
I immediately contacted our National Executive and submitted to their advice and council. Church, our family needs your prayers at this time. We are so, so sorry to bring you into this.
I have lead you with openness and integrity and declare that we have not lived a lie before you. We fully understand the questions, shock, disbelief and even anger you may feel over this announcement. Please pray for us and we will pray for you.
Michael is struggling with a different kind of illness and is receiving professional help and will do so as long as is needed. On the council and advice of our executive and board, after our up and coming Edge conference, we will take time to be with Mike and get him all the professional and spiritual help he needs to come to full recovery.
We have an amazing team. Thank you, executive, board, staff and church, for your love and support. We will do what is right before God and man and see this situation turned around for the glory of God. We love you.”
The father of a Christian preacher who has admitted to lying about having cancer has told a congregation that his son must go through a restorative process.
“So now these five things must apply to him. He must humble himself, he must again hunger after God, he must be committed to holiness, to honour God, to honour church, and to honour everybody in the community,” he said.
“He must also have a heart to heal his own brokenness before he can ever reach out to the brokenness of others.”