“THE disgraced pastor at the centre of a fake cancer scandal has spoken for the first time about his “secret life of sin”.
But fallen pastor Michael Guglielmucci only released a brief statement to explain his actions, four days after The Advertiser revealed the truth of his two-year web of lies.
The statement was read to a packed congregation at a pentecostal church his father, Danny Guglielmucci, founded - Edge Church International at Reynella.
Mr Guglielmucci says the reason behind his fictitious cancer story was to hide his 16-year obsession with pornography.
“It is with much pain and sadness that I make this statement today,” he said in the statement.
“For over 16 years I have struggled with an addition to adult pornography as a result of this secret life of sin my body would often breakdown.
“I’d report the cause of my symptoms simply as illnesses and I’ve thrown my life into a ministry for many years trying to compensate for my sin.
“I believe that I do love Jesus and I know that he loves me and it is this love along with the prayers of people around the world that bring me to this place of confession.
“Two years ago, I reported that I was suffering from cancer, the truth is that although I was ill I did not have cancer but was again using the misdiagnosis to hid the lie that I was living.
“I know in my heart that it is the truth alone that will set me free and this is the reason for my confession.
“I’ve dishonoured God, my wife, my family and the church and I take full responsibility for my actions and would like to make it very clear that no-one else was in any way aware of my double life.
“I’m fully commited to a process of discipline, recovery and restitution and will see this process through to what ever extent is necessary.
“I am deeply sorry and pray that you will find it in your hearts to forgive me.
“Currently I am undergoing professional medical assessment and evaluation to help identify and begin to treat the real and much deeper issues.
“Please continue to pray for my wife and I and my family as we have a long, hard road ahead of us but a road that I’m thankful to God that I’m finally walking.”
THE Sunday Mail revealed today that Guglielmucci has been addicted to pornography since the age of 12.
The disgraced pastor’s father Danny Guglielmucci said the “severe addiction to pornography” was part of a bizarre double life his son had been leading.
Mr Guglielmucci said 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.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Mail this week, Mr Guglielmucci also revealed:
HIS son has been suffering “mystery illnesses” since the age of 12.
DOCTORS gave his parents the option of admitting him to a psychiatric ward for assessment as a child over the ongoing “illnesses”, but they refused.
THE family’s “absolute shock” at discovering Michael was not terminally ill.
Mr Guglielmucci said he and wife Sharonne – who founded Edge Church International – were struggling to comprehend what their son had done.
“When (Michael) rang me last Tuesday, I was on my way to New Zealand,” Mr Guglielmucci said.
“He said, ‘Dad you’ve got to come and see me’.
“I said to my wife, ‘Maybe the doctors have told him he’s only got a few weeks to live’.
“So we cancelled everything and jumped on the plane and went to see him in Melbourne, and that’s when he told us the story.
“We were just in absolute shock and we still are. We haven’t had time to get our head around it. He said, ‘I don’t have cancer. I’ve had two lives that I’ve lived’.
“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, Christian youth movement that began in Adelaide and has grown into an international ministry. Guglielmucci was based in Melbourne.
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.
“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.
“We have to accept it. We’re hoping to share with our congregation how it all started and how it got where it is.
“We understand people’s anger, we understand their questioning.
“There’s so many questions.
“An addiction like this is not going to be fixed overnight. You can’t have a 16-year problem and fix it in a week.”
Mr Guglielmucci said his son was undergoing psychiatric assessment with Adelaide doctors.
“They have said to me that he is very ill. They are assessing where reality stopped and fantasy kicked in and what’s caused all this,” he said.
“The doctor believes that at times Michael was totally convinced that he had this sickness.”
Mr Guglielmucci said his son had a long history of “mystery illnesses”, starting in childhood.
“When he was about 12 he did vomit all the time, he’d get really really sick,” he said.
“He was in the Adelaide Children’s Hospital for seven weeks at one stage; he didn’t eat and we thought we were going to lose him.
“They took out his appendix, thinking that it might be that, but they realised that it wasn’t.
“They gave us the option of putting him in a psychiatric ward to see if there was something psychological but we felt uncomfortable with that at the time.
“We signed him out from hospital and then he would go a few months and then he would get sick again.
“We’d always take him to hospital; we’d always do the proper thing but they couldn’t get to the bottom of it until now.”
Mr Guglielmucci said he and his wife were in “absolute shock” to discover their son was not terminally ill.
“We have watched our son go through what we thought was cancer,” he said. “My wife and I, over the past two years, have watched him vomit in buckets, having nosebleeds, and even his hair fell out in clumps at one stage.
“Every time we saw him, we saw symptoms. He stayed with us for a while where we had to put a special air-conditioner in one of the rooms because he would heat up so much in the middle of winter.
“He had this cold air-conditioner blowing on him to try to keep the heat down. As a professional minister I’ve stood in front of my congregation and cried and said to pray for my son.
“I’ve travelled the world asking people to pray for him. Can you imagine what a horrible thing it would be if I was playing a game?
“To be honest, I ask myself as a father, `What did I miss, what did I not do? What could I have done better?’ ”
Mr Guglielmucci said Michael’s wife was “getting really good counselling”.
“She’s not made any decision at this point,” he said.
“It’s happened so quickly. There’s so many questions.”