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Pastor conned followers with his fake cancer ‘over porn addiction’

Australia- THE father of a disgraced Melbourne preacher who faked a two-year battle with cancer says his son’s porn obsession fueled the deceit.

Shocked father Danny Guglielmucci [pictured] – also a minister – said his son Michael’s bizarre double life was underpinned by the 16-year addiction.

Michael Guglielmucci, until recently a preacher at the popular Planetshakers youth church in Melbourne, inspired Christians around the world with a hit song, Healer.

The song featured on Sydney church Hillsong’s latest album and debuted at No. 2 on the ARIA charts.

But the high-profile church leader was stripped of his credentials this week after he admitted fabricating his battle with terminal illness.

The deception included conducting performances with an oxygen tube in his nose and telling audiences he had broken bones and other unexplained symptoms.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Herald Sun Mr Guglielmucci said he, his wife and Michael’s wife had no idea about the deception until recent days and they were all in “absolute shock” to discover Michael wasn’t terminally ill.

“My wife and I, over the past two years, have watched him vomit in buckets, having nose bleeds and even his hair fell out in clumps at one stage,” he said.

“As a professional minister I’ve stood in front of my congregation and cried and said to pray for my son.”

Mr Guglielmucci revealed his son had suffered “mystery illnesses” since the age of 12 — about the time his porn addiction began.

Mr Guglielmucci said his son was not motivated by fraud, but by guilt.

“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 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,” Mr Guglielmucci said.

Guglielmucci’s fake battle against terminal illness had attracted the support of Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian.

It is understood Guglielmucci had performed onstage with Sebastian, whose MySpace page yesterday still included a link to a website where supporters could raise money and show support.

Guglielmucci’s bank accounts are being audited by his church and leaders have promised any money raised deceptively will be returned or donated to charity.

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