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Dr. Bill Bilton, EWTN: Bishop of Birmingham stated that Caritas of Birmingham is a "business", priests do not have permission to celebrate Mass there

Caritas of Birmingham - Question from Roberta on 6/18/2001: [1]

Is Caritas of Birmingham a legitimate place to get Our Lady's messages? This group mails out blue post cards with the monthly message. The disturbing part is the coomentary by the "Founder", who will not reveal who he or she is. The group claims to have an inside line to the happenings at Medjugorge. Some of the commentary seems overly strict and somewhat outlandish. Can you let me know whether I should continue receiving their mailings?

Answer by Bill Bilton on 6/19/2001:

Caritas of Birmingham is a controversial organization. Our local bishop has stated in the daily newspaper that it is a "business" and his priests do not have permission to celebrate Mass there. With such a negative standing with Church authority in the Diocese of Birmingham, I believe you can reach your own conclusion about the wisdom of pursuing any interest in the organization.

See also: Position of Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and Mother Angelica on Caritas of Birmingham, Alabama

Bill Bilton, Ph.D

Bilton had been with EWTN for more than eight years, beginning his tenure in the Viewer Services Department where he served as Coordinator of Viewer Services. Because of his extensive religious and secular educational background, Dr. Bilton was named the first Dean of the St. Joseph's House of Studies, an undergraduate program serving the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word and located on the Irondale campus of EWTN. In August of 2000, he joined EWTN's Theology Department, where he was a Theology Advisor, answering hundreds of On-Line and written queries about the Catholic Faith, in addition to reviewing programs acquired for airing on EWTN.

Colin Donovan, EWTN's Vice President of Theology, said, "Bill was a valued member of the Theology Department whose meticulous work was greatly appreciated. His colleagues and I will miss him very much."

Bilton received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Journalism from the University of Georgia in 1966. He received a Master of Arts Degree in 1977 from Canisius Jesuit College in Buffalo, NY and a Ph.D. in 1989 from Franklin University in Philadelphia. In 1970 Bilton joined the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, commonly known at the Eudist Fathers and Brothers. During this period, he was for two years in residence at Notre Dame University participating in the university's Religious Leaders Program. He later served for three years as Director of Religious Education for St. John The Baptist Parish in Buffalo, NY and in the same capacity for two years at St. James Parish in Solana, CA. He remained a Eudist Brother until 1984.

Professionally, Bilton held several editorial positions with both Catholic and secular publications. In the 1960s he was News Editor of The Columbus News in Martinez, GA and Entertainment Editor of The Augusta Chronicle-Herald in Augusta, Ga. From 1972-79 Bilton was Director of Public Relations & Development at Cardinal Dougherty High School in Buffalo, NY and from 1980-84, was Executive Editor & Business Manager for The Southern Cross, the weekly newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, CA. He was also a content advisor to the Catholic News Service's weekly religious education supplement, Faith Today.

Caritas of Birmingham business still drains millions of dollars from gullible Catholics in donations. In recent years, it was annually $3-4 millions, according to words of the leader of Caritas of Birmingham, self-styled "A Friend of Medjugorje", Terry Colafrancesco in 2011.

See also: Excerpts from shocking testimonies of former members of Caritas of Birmingham 'under the sole dictates' of self-styled „A Friend of Medjugorje" (Terry Colafrancesco) -- regarding scandalous fleecing of gullible people and money related deceptions

"Marija does not know the real Terry. She is deceived. He is very good at hiding the truth from her and her family. He showers her with gifts and favors. She sees this as true benevolence. She does not see this as manipulation because she is sweet, loving trusting and simple. The visionaries were peasants and farmers. They have had very little exposure before their heavenly experiences of people who are manipulators and users. They seem to not have a big understanding of how the power of Medjugorje will attract opportunists like Terry." [2]

"Colafrancesco has used the visions to make money for himself and to control people."

"If Marija knew the truth, she would distance herself from Colafrancesco immediately." [3]

Patrick Flynn, former resident and member of Caritas of Birmingham for 9 years

See also: A Friend of Medjugorje (Terry Colafrancesco) fits the profile of a cult leader and his group "Caritas of Birmingham” can be classified as a cult according to criteria of International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA)


All documents quoted in this article, together with additional detailed information on Caritas of Birmingham business and self-styled "A Friend of Medjugorje" (Terry Colafrancesco) are available in English and Italian languages online at:



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