Plinio Lepri, The Associated
Former Archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia,
Emmanuel Milingo, meets with Pope John
VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul met yesterday with a former
archbishop threatened with excommunication after he got married in
New York in one of Rev. Sun Myung Moon's mass weddings.
Emmanuel Milingo had sought the papal audience to explain his
belief that priests should be allowed to marry and have families,
said Rev. Phillip Schanker, his spokesman.
He added the former archbishop had consummated his marriage and
hoped to have a family. "He has come to understand that all the
blessings of God were meant to be given through the family," the
spokesman said in a telephone interview from Washington.
In a letter sent to the Pope, and made public three weeks ago,
the former archbishop said he had not married for lust.
"At the age of 71, sexual impulses are reduced to a minimum," he
wrote. "I married with God in mind, and was pushed by a deep desire
to renew pure and honest faith."
After the marriage, which took place on May 27, Vatican spokesman
Joaquin Navarro Valls said the former archbishop could no longer "be
considered a bishop of the Catholic Church."
The Vatican has given him until Aug. 20 to leave his new wife,
South Korean doctor Maria Sung, sever his ties with Rev. Moon's
movement, publicly promise to remain celibate and "manifest his
obedience to the Supreme Pontiff." Otherwise, he will be
excommunicated. The former archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, has said he
does not want to leave the Church, although he believes it needs
The African cleric has long been at odds with the Vatican. As
archbishop of Lusaka, he ran into controversy over his faith healing
and exorcisms. He resigned under pressure in 1983.
He was then brought to Rome as a functionary in the Pontifical
Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, but
continued public healing and exorcism. Last year, he was quietly
retired from the post.