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Posted By: Michael_Thoma "Catholic" speaker - 09/09/20 06:05 AM
I'm not sure how to begin this comment / question.

I came across this charity which purported to be focused on helping Catholic and Orthodox Churches undergoing persecution, and while doing a bit of a deeper dive on it my skeptical spidey senses started going off on red-alert (Charismatics label this a "gift of discernment" - I'm not in their camp fully, so I'll go with SKEPTIC).

While looking into the charity, and it's purpose - it struck me as strange that it's website and founder has multiple media outlets promoting various Catholic causes, but the focus seems never to be on the cause, but on the individual. One image in particular, that was posted when this speaker went on EWTN, gave me a real unease. Every image posted literally has this individual posing with the people, kids, etc in these poorer areas but with that "influencer" feel - make up, well polished, good lighting, etc. - STAGED. There's no pictures posted of actual work being done, but mainly with this person front and center. I thought this was really odd. Well, the charity and individual have been mentioned on all kinds of Catholic outlets, EWTN, Relevant Radio, LoveWorldUSATV, etc, etc. Also there's some sort of link to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, as this person is associated with their outreach.

So I start a deeper search. Turns out this persons sister does the same type of thing, self-promotion, social media marketing, influencer type stuff of christian and political outlets.

Stranger still... another name keeps popping up here and there and it's the grandmother of these two "catholic" influencers, and turns out she's a pentecostal/charismatic leader of the Benny Hinn variety. She's got a fake diploma from one of these mills and calls herself "Dr.", can be seen on YouTube and on these prosperity gospel faith-healer type outlets. There's even an old thread on Catholic Forum where someone directly asks if this Pentecostal pastoress is Catholic and someone replies that yes she is, and that she's approved by her Bishop to preach in a Catholic setting. I have no doubt this is the individual themselves answering to mislead Catholics into thinking her "ministry" is church approved.

Odd indeed.

I get the feeling the granddaughter is about to spin off into her own "ministry" and use the Catholic outlets as free publicity for money and members, and they have been using Catholic outlets to shill for grandmas ministry worldwide.

For the life of me, I still can't figure out why Catholic outlets promoted this "charity" - there already exists legit Church-approved charities like CNEWA, ACIN and others which have the history of supporting Eastern Christians and the means to do so. Other than the founder being a pretty face, what can this outlet do that's helpful that an existing Agency or direct Church aid cannot?

What am I to do with this information - there's not much to go on, but every red flag in my mind says this is a scam and that Catholic outlets are oblivious or naive.
Posted By: Irish_Ruthenian Re: "Catholic" speaker - 09/09/20 12:58 PM
But you didn't name the "charity."
Posted By: Michael_Thoma Re: "Catholic" speaker - 09/09/20 02:22 PM
I purposely didn't at first because I wanted to hear if it was appropriate to name, or would it be considered rumor/gossip/unjustifed.. I'll post if Administrator John doesn't think it's an issue
Posted By: Administrator Re: "Catholic" speaker - 09/09/20 06:48 PM
I have no objection to a discussion of the merits of a specific charity or individual.

I would suggest these guidelines. Don't make conclusions. Sometimes one's sense that something is not right with a specific charity or individual is accurate. Sometimes it is not. Best to use that sense to spur one on to investigate. Never make conclusions on emotion. Only facts.

More generally, if this is a serious investigation, I'd contact some of the groups he (or the group) has worked with. An email to whoever hosted the EWTN program that featured this person (organization) raising your concerns would advance you much further than conjecture on this forum.

And, of course, make prayer for him (the organization) the start of all that you do.
Posted By: Michael_Thoma Re: "Catholic" speaker - 09/09/20 07:40 PM
Ok - based on those guidelines, I'll submit these as evidence for concern. This is not a conclusion as to the charity or individual's authenticity, only an opinion of grave concern.

https://www.facebook.com/marchforthemartyrs/

https://aleteia.org/2020/08/31/marc...tion-to-christian-persecution-worldwide/

https://catholicspeakers.com/profiles/gia-chacon

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=gia+chacon

https://www.facebook.com/Dr.Corral

https://breathofthespirit.org/

https://www.michellecorral.com/

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=michelle+corral

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melodyland_Christian_Center

https://forums.catholic.com/t/ask-about-dr-michelle-corral/175470

Unaccredited "University": http://www.nextdimensionuniversity.com/
Posted By: theophan Re: "Catholic" speaker - 09/10/20 03:49 PM
Christ is in our midst!!

Michael Thoma:

I took a look at your list and went to the sites. I have to agree with you. I got the same "feel" I get when some organization sends me a money solicitation--the name is close to something I donate to, but not quite. There are many good organizations out there helping persecuted Christians. May I suggest "Aid to the Church in Need," a pontifical/Papal organization that helps both Catholic and Orthodox Christians around the world. I have become very suspicious as I age and only donate to organizations that I can verify with other people that I trust.

Bob
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