VATICAN CITY, Aug 7 (AFP) -- A 71-year-old Zambian
archbishop who is under threat of excommunication for getting
married held talks Tuesday with Pope John Paul II at his
summer residence in Italy, the Vatican said. Archbishop
Emmanuel Milingo of Lusaka spent about 30 minutes inside the
pope's residence at Castelgandolfo outside Rome.
"The meeting opens dialogue which, we hope, will lead to
positive developments," said Father Ciro Benedettini, a
Milingo has been ordered to separate from his wife, South
Korean doctor Maria Sung, whom he married in a mass wedding
ceremony officiated by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon of the
South Korean Unification Church May 27.
In a letter sent to the pope, and made public three weeks
ago, the archbishop said he had not married for lust.
"I have not married for concupiscence. At the age of 71,
sexual impulses are reduced to a minimum."
"I married with God in mind, and was pushed by a deep
desire to renew pure and honest faith, denouncing serious sins
in the moral domain which have hurt and weakened the Catholic
clergy," Milingo wrote.
Following the marriage, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro
Valls said Milingo could no longer "be considered a bishop of
the Catholic church."
The Roman Catholic church has also said Milingo faces
sanctions -- though the word excommunication has not been used
-- if he does not cut his ties with the activities of the
Unification Church by August 20.
In threatening further sanctions last month, Vatican
officials said they had been unable to contact the archbishop
since his marriage.
The Catholic church does not allow its clergy to marry.
Even before his marriage, Milingo had repeatedly angered
the Vatican for working as a healer and exorcist.