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Archbishop who married sees pope

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, 8/8/2001

VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul II met yesterday with an archbishop who was married in one of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's mass weddings. The Vatican said the meeting was the start of a dialogue, but added that its threat to excommunicate him remains.

Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo had his audience with the pope at the pontiff's summer retreat at Castel Gandolfo, in the hills outside Rome. In a statement afterwards, the Vatican said it hoped that the meeting could ''lead to positive developments.''

But the Vatican has already threatened to excommunicate Milingo if he doesn't leave his wife by Aug. 20, sever ties with Moon's movement, and remain celibate.

Milingo has said he has no plans to do so, and a spokesman said yesterday that he had consummated his marriage and intended to start a family with his new wife.

''He has begun conjugal life,'' said the Rev. Phillip Schanker, a spokesman for Moon's Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

Milingo had sought the papal audience to explain his reasons for marrying and his belief that priests should be allowed to have families. He has said that celibacy has fulfilled its purpose but is now poisoning the priesthood.

''He has come to understand that all the blessings of God were meant to be given through the family,'' Schanker said.

Milingo went to Castel Gandolfo on Monday evening, met with Vatican officials, and returned yesterday morning for his audience. He made no comment to reporters after the meeting.

This story ran on page A11 of the Boston Globe on 8/8/2001.
Copyright 2001 Globe Newspaper Company.

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