Aug. 14, 2001, 12:17PM
Married archbishop giving up wife, Vatican says
VATICAN CITY -- A Zambian archbishop whose marriage scandalized
the Vatican is giving up his wife and returning to the Roman
Catholic Church, the Vatican said today.
It also said Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo was breaking off his
relationship with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Milingo was married in a
mass ceremony conducted by Moon on May 27 in New York.
The Vatican released a brief letter it said the 71-year-old
Milingo wrote Saturday to Pope John Paul II announcing the
The letter said Milingo was recommitting his life "in the
Catholic church with all my heart, renouncing my living together
with Maria Sung and my relationship with the Rev. Moon and the
Family Federation for World Peace."
"I am your humble and obedient servant," the letter to the pope
The woman Milingo married, Maria Sung, said she began fasting at
midnight to force Vatican officials to reunite her with her husband.
She said she would renounce food "until he is free to meet me or
until I die."
Officials traveling with her could not be reached immediately for
Sung says she has been kept apart from her husband since they
came together to the Vatican and Milingo met with the pope last
The Vatican has not disclosed Milingo's whereabouts, saying only
that he is on a spiritual retreat and that he should be left alone
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 had been threatened with excommuncation for marrying
Sung. Milingo has said priests need not be celibate and that God's
blessings were meant to be given through the family.
Most Catholics consider Moon's doctrines well beyond the bounds
of traditional Christianity. For instance, Moon's followers regard
Moon as the messiah who is completing the salvation Jesus Christ
failed to accomplish.
In each of the past two years, Milingo has appeared at group
weddings conducted by Moon. The rituals, called "Holy Blessing
Ceremonies," are a central practice of Moon's religion, and Moon
arranges the marriages personally.