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Is archbishop being deprogrammed?

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Friday, 10 August 2001 16:57 (ET)

Is archbishop being deprogrammed?
By UWE SIEMON-NETTO, UPI religion correspondent

 WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- "Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo's Korean wife
has received unconfirmed reports that her husband is currently being
'deprogrammed,'" a spokesman for the Rev. Sun Myung Moon told United Press
International Friday.

 "Deprogramming" is a term for a form of treatment used when separating a
person from a religious cult.

 In May, Moon had married Milingo, a former Catholic archbishop of Lusaka,
Zambia, to Korean acupuncturist Maria Sung.

 "She was told that her husband is in the Vatican's hands right now, but we
could not verify this," said the Rev. Phillip Schanker, spokesman for Moon's
Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

 According to Schanker, "The archbishop's wife's attempts to reach her
husband were rejected." Schanker added that she tried to telephone Italian
painter Alba Vitali who had arranged Milingo first meeting with Pope John
Paul II on Aug. 7 at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

 "But Ms. Vitali just hung up on her," Schanker said.

 After Milingo's first two-hour encounter with the Pope and other prelates,
including Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation of the
Doctrine of Faith, the Vatican's press office announced that the threat of
Milingo's excommunication was suspended.

 Milingo and his wife were supposed to have met the pontiff together
Friday. But is not known if Milingo had seen the pontiff for a second time.
Meanwhile, Maria Sung is staying with acquaintances in Rome.

 While the Vatican keeps silent about Milingo's whereabouts, the Italian
media reported Friday that he was in a monastery.

 Schanker said that if Maria Sung did not hear from the archbishop soon she
would take her case "to the media."


 (UPI is owned by News World Communications Inc., a media company founded
by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.)
Copyright 2001 by United Press International.
All rights reserved.

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