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Tuesday August 14 11:01 AM ET

Bishop's Wife Starts Hunger Stroke

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Married Archbishop to Reconcile With Church
 

ROME (AP) - The wife of an archbishop announced the start of a hunger strike Tuesday, vowing to starve herself until she is allowed to see her husband, said to be on retreat to reflect on his marriage that outraged the Vatican (news - web sites).

Maria Sung said she began fasting at midnight to force Vatican officials to reunite her with her husband, Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo. She said she would renounce food ``until he is free to meet me or until I die.''

Sung says she has been kept apart from her husband since they came together to the Vatican and Milingo met with Pope John Paul (news - web sites) II last week to discuss his reasons for the marriage.

The Vatican has not disclosed Milingo's whereabouts, saying only that he is on a spiritual retreat and that he should be left alone to pray.

Sung also went to St. Peter's Square to pray at 6 a.m. Tuesday and said she will return everyday at the same hour until they are reunited.

``I and Monsignor Milingo were married before God and if he decides that this is no longer real then I'm ready to die. As a spirit, I will be near him,'' Sung told reporters. ``But I don't think he'd ever make that decision.''

Sung, a 43-year-old South Korean doctor, suggested Monday that she may be pregnant. But she said she was not worried about possible health risks from her fast and will only drink water.

Milingo, 71, had been threatened with excommuncation for marrying Sung in a May 27 mass wedding held by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's church. Milingo has said priests need not be celibate and that God's blessings were meant to be given through the family.

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Earlier Stories
Archbishop's Wife Prays at Vatican (August 13)
Archbishop's Wife Makes Plea (August 11)
Archbishop Who Wed Plans Return (August 11)
Archbishop to Reconcile With Church (August 11)
Married Archbishop in Seclusion (August 10)

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