VATICAN CITY: The wife of the Zambian
archbishop who scandalised the Vatican by getting married has
appealed to church officials to let her see her husband and
threatened to go on a hunger strike if they refuse.
acupuncturist Maria Sung suggested at the weekend that her husband,
Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, was being held against his will by the
church and vowed to risk her life to find him.
"I am afraid that my husband is not free to speak with me," a
tearful Ms Sung said at a Rome press conference.
Archbishop Milingo and his wife, who were married in one of the
Reverend Sun Myung Moon's mass weddings in New York on May 27,
travelled to Italy last week. He had sought an audience with the
Pope to explain why he got married.
He has said that priests need not be celibate and that God's
blessings are meant to be given through the family.
The Pope received him last Tuesday. After the meeting, the
Vatican suspended its threat to excommunicate him while talks
continued. It had said previously that Archbishop Milingo faced
excommunication if he did not leave his wife by August 20, sever his
ties with Reverend Moon's movement, promise to remain celibate and
"manifest his obedience to the Supreme Pontiff".
A Vatican statement said the archbishop had been reminded by the
Pope "of his responsibilities to God and the church".
Archbishop Milingo said he would take time to reflect and pray,
but that he would have to consult his wife before deciding what to
Ms Sung said she had spoken to her husband by telephone on
Wednesday: "He told me he was facing a difficult fight, and that he
was not free to talk, but would call back soon."
Ms Sung said she would begin fasting in three days or less if she
were not allowed to see her husband.