Christian Research Service – www.christianresearchservice. com
August 13, 2010
The August 2, 2010 edition of the NATIONAL ENQUIRER hit the newsstands on July 23, and featured a two-page article on an alleged “Torrid Affair” between American televangelists Benny Hinn and Paula White.
The article sent shock waves through the hyper-Charismatic community, and prompted Hinn and White to issue written statements on their websites. They denied the affair, and denounced the NATIONAL ENQUIRER article as “False and Misleading.”
While Hinn’s statement disappeared one day after its publication, White’s statement remained online for a few days, then disappeared.
But both statements were preserved in their entirety by Apprising Ministries at http://apprising.org/2010/07/ 30/benny-hinn-and-paula-white- side-by-side
Later, Benny Hinn would issue a more detailed statement during a July 30 crusade in Oakland, California. But more on that later.
Invites to the Vatican
In his original written statement, Benny Hinn told his readers a “truth,” in that he and Paula White “traveled independently.” He further stated that,
I was invited by Vatican officials to visit the Vatican to discuss future ministry opportunities there. Paula was likewise invited to have meetings in the region, and, although we spent time together, we were never alone and were in the constant company of staff and family members.
Likewise, Paula White stated that she and Hinn “traveled independently” and met with officials at the Vatican:
I publicly profess and forcefully renounce assertions that the recent trip to Italy to meet with Vatican officials suggests that the friendship is in any way improper or morally impure .We traveled independently to the region for respective ministry duties and, while there, spent time together along with others.
Again, both statements are available on the Apprising Ministries website at http://apprising.org/2010/07/ 30/benny-hinn-and-paula-white- side-by-side
What is a Patron of the Arts?
Established in 1982, the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums is a donor-sponsored project that is dedicated to the restoration, upkeep and preservation of the “vast and unique collection of art contained in the Vatican museums” ( http://www.vatican-patrons.org/home.html ).
Depending on the type of membership desired, monetary fees range from $250 to $500 to $1000 annually. Once the requirements are met, the individual or family is designated a Patron of the Arts (Ibid.).
It is important to note that when a Patron of the Arts visits the Vatican in Rome, Italy, they are “received in the Office of the Patrons of the Arts in the Apostolic Palace,” and given a “complimentary tour of the Vatican Museums with a private guide…” (Ibid).
Verbal statement from Benny Hinn
Benny Hinn’s original written statement, dated July 24, was followed up with verbal statements during a July 30 crusade in Oakland, California. The telecast was aired August 5 on Hinn’s This Is Your Day! program, and aired again on August 13 (http://www.bennyhinn.org/media/2010-8-13.asx ). [See also this]
During the crusade, Hinn revealed additional details about his invitation to the Vatican, his becoming a Patron of the Arts, and traveling arrangements with Paula White:
The Vatican did invite me a few days ago. They made me a Patron of the Arts in the Vatican two weeks ago. And that’s a fact! A Patron of the Arts means you support the Vatican so they can maintain all the work of Michelangelo. I’m one of the guys now that supports what they do. And that is a fact. I was there, and we were taken around by a man named Wilhelm Kramer [or Cramer]. And they asked me, literally they said, “Do you know people that can help us financially?” I said, “Alright.”
Now here’s where I made my mistake: I let her [Paula White] come with me to Rome, so she can donate money. That was stupid on my part. And for that I do ask forgiveness. But that was an innocent mistake, nothing to do with stupid stuff. [To our Partners… A Special Message from Pastor Benny Hinn, Miracle Crusade, Oakland, California, July 30, 2010, http://www.bennyhinn.org/media/2010-8-13.asx ].
To recap, during the crusade, Benny Hinn told his partners he was invited to the Vatican in Rome, Italy, that he agreed to financially support the Patron of the Arts program, and that he was made a Patron of the Arts. Hinn also said that he let Paula White come with him to Rome, “so she can donate money.”
However, there is another side to Hinn’s and White’s statements.
Statement from a Vatican official
Mark Haydu is a Catholic priest and the International Coordinator/Director of The Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, located in Rome, Italy. Along with The Patrons of the Arts membership, Haydu maintains that “Our sole interest is to assist the Holy Father [Pope] in his desire to preserve, promote and protect the wonderful and historic treasures found in the Vatican Museums” ( http://www.vatican-patrons.org/internationaldirector.html ).
With Benny Hinn’s and Paula White’s statements in mind, Christian Research Service wrote the following letter to Mark Haydu and two staff members within the Patrons of the Arts program:
August 10, 2010
The Patrons of the Arts
in the Vatican Museums
V-00120 Vatican City State, Europe
To Whom it may concern:
Recently, the American televangelist Benny Hinn said he had been invited to the Vatican, and became a Patron of the Arts to maintain the work of Michelangelo.
Also, Benny Hinn said he was accompianied by a woman named Paula White, who said she traveled to Rome to meet with Vatican officials.
I am requesting your verification on the following:
1. Was Benny Hinn invited to the Vatican?
2. Did Benny Hinn become a Patron of the Arts?
3. Did Paula White meet with Vatican officials, and did she donate money?
Thank you. Your assistance will be greatly appreciated.
Sincerely in Christ,
Bud Press, Director
Christian Research Service
[End of letter]
In his reply on August 11, Mark Haydu stated that,
To my knowledge, Paula White or Benny Hinn were not invited to the Vatican Museums in any official context, nor did we find anyone on our donors database of Patrons under those names. [Original on file with CRS]
Haydu went on to say that because the Vatican employs thousands of people, he isn’t aware of everyone who is invited to the Vatican. “I am just aware of the Patrons of the Arts and the Vatican Museums,” he stated.
Christian Research Service thanks Mark Haydu for his prompt reply and honesty.
Based on the information above, it appears that Benny Hinn and Paula White have, once again, deceived their followers. If those who follow the modern-day false teachers would develop an inquiring mind–the type that demands the truth–perhaps they would know that Hinn and White cannot be trusted.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart (Proverbs 3:3).