Popular “700 Club” host Pat Robertson was blasted for giving controversial advice that seemingly approved of divorcing one’s spouse because of Alzheimer’s. But on Monday’s airing of the show, he attempted to clear up what he said was “misinterpreted.”
“I want to say I envy the Catholic priest, because when they have someone in confession its all kept secret,” Robertson said. “When I have somebody asking me for advice, it spreads world [wide] and it gets misunderstood.”
A viewer had asked for Robertson’s advice regarding a friend who had a wife suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. That friend began seeing another woman.
"My friend has gotten bitter at God for allowing his wife to be in that condition, and now he's started seeing another woman. He says that he should be allowed to see other people because his wife as he knows her is gone," the viewer, Andreas, wrote to CBN.
Robertson received backlash when he advised the husband to “divorce her and start all over again” if he was to take any action. He added that the husband should make sure that her custodial care was taken care of but to consult an ethicist for further consultation.
The CBN founder explained on Monday that his advice was not meant for general use but was for the specific question that was asked.
“Basically I’m saying, adultery is not a good thing and you might as well straighten your life out and the only way to do it is to kind of get your affair with your wife in order," he said.
He then explained that he and his wife love each other and have supported one another through their various illnesses and that’s the way it should be and this kind of behavior should be expected.
“I was not giving advice to the whole world and nor was I counseling anybody to be unscriptural and leave their spouse,” he clarified.
Co-host Terry Meeuwsen noted that Robertson and his wife have had close friends affected by the disease and have seen firsthand the pain that the caretaker spouse experiences.
Robertson ended by saying, “Please know that I believe the Bible. Please know that I never would tell anybody to leave their sick spouse. I never never would say such a thing because I need my spouse when I get sick and she needs me when she gets sick.” He continued, “In sickness and in health, I believe it!”