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The Pope has held talks with a married archbishop who is threatened with excommunication.
His meeting with Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo is the start of a dialogue to discuss Milingo's recent marriage at one of the Rev Sun Myung Moon's mass weddings.
Milingo had requested a papal audience to discuss his reasons behind the marriage. He has also asked to be released from his vow of celibacy to consummate the marriage.
The Vatican has given Milingo until August 20 to leave his new wife, sever his ties with the Moonie's movement, publicly promise to remain celibate and "manifest his obedience to the Supreme Pontiff".
If he doesn't, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the Vatican's watchdog for orthodoxy, has said he will be excommunicated.
The 71-year-old archbishop was married on May 27 in a group ceremony at a New York hotel. His bride, 43-year-old Korean doctor Maria Sung, was selected by Moon, as is customary in the movement, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.
Milingo has said he doesn't want to leave the church, although he has said it needs to be reformed. He has long been at odds with the Catholic hierarchy.
He was archbishop of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, when he fell foul of the Vatican over his faith healing and exorcisms. He resigned in 1983, a very rare occurrence with an archbishop below normal retirement age and in good health.
Story filed: 15:00 Tuesday 7th August 2001CHECK FOR MORE ON: INTERACTIVE:
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