Evangelist Benny Hinn recently admitted at a crusade in Oakland, Calif., to having a "friendship" with fellow minister Paula White while he's still married after a tabloid pictured them holding hands in Rome on July 13.
He said patrons are asked to find donors to help maintain the Vatican's art collections, and he wanted White to become a donor."I let her come with me to Rome so she can donate money," Hinn said. And for that I do ask forgiveness."The published photos in its Aug.
2 issue of Hinn walking hand-in-hand with White in Rome.
"I said, 'Paula, we can't even be friends right now.'"Hinn admitted that he contributed to the demise of his marriage by putting ministry over his family.
"I was so busy in the ministry, I was so caught up with the ministry, I forgot about my family," Hinn said. "I'm here to admit I was wrong because the call of God first should touch the family.
"That's probably what broke the whole thing up."He said he often preached that ministry comes first, acknowledging that he knew that teaching hurt his children. If you have no family, you can't go on anyways."Hinn admitted he and his wife had "challenges" but said he didn't expect her to end the marriage.
"We had troubles for a long time, and I would ask her often, 'Would you ever divorce me? "She said, 'Never because I fear God too much.' She said, 'My covenant is with God, not you.' And I guess she could no longer handle it.
That's a lie." Hinn invited his daughters Natasha and Eleasha on stage in Oakland and asked the crowd to pray for him, his estranged wife, Suzanne, and their four children.
He said he and his wife had problems in their marriage for years and "could no longer exist in the same house."Hinn's wife, Suzanne, filed for divorce in February after the couple had been separated for years, but it has not been finalized.
The article, which released July 23, claimed the two spent three nights in a five-star hotel Hinn booked under a false name.
Hinn said in Oakland that he and White found "common ground" after she appeared on in late May.
White kept it real and addressed all the tests that God had allowed her to go through such as a divorce, alleged affair with televangelist Benny Hinn, a stroke, an addiction to the prescription medication she was given following her stroke and how her church staff split in the middle; with some turning on the Whites and going to the media.