Friday August 17, 2001
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World News

Wedded bliss was short-lived.

Archbishop back in the fold, his wife not happy

16.08.2001

VATICAN CITY - Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who shocked the Vatican by marrying a woman chosen by the Rev Sun Myung Moon, has written to Pope John Paul renouncing his life with his Korean wife and returning to the Catholic Church.

In a letter sent to the Pope last week but released by the Vatican yesterday, Milingo, aged 71, said he had turned his back on Moon's Unification Church, satisfying three conditions set by the Vatican for the African prelate to avoid excommunication.

"I now rededicate my life to the Catholic Church with all my heart, I renounce my life together with wife Maria Sung and my dealings with the Rev Moon and his Family Federation for World Peace," read the letter, dated August 11.

Sung accused the Vatican of holding the controversial Zambian-born cleric a prisoner and branded as "false" the letter in which he renounced her.

"I am convinced he is a prisoner," said Sung, who married Milingo at a mass wedding organised by Moon in May and says she could be pregnant with the prelate's child.

"I have tried to move the consciences of people who are holding him. Now I think it is time to go to the police," she told a news conference in Rome.

Last week Milingo turned up in Rome unexpectedly in an apparent attempt to make amends with the Vatican which had threatened to excommunicate him. He has not been seen in public since last Wednesday.

Sung, 43, arrived after her husband and has demanded to see him. She has gone on hunger strike and says she will not eat again until she either sees him or dies.

Sung said if Milingo did tell her he was leaving, she would continue a hunger strike "to the death and my spirit will remain alongside his".

Asked about the effect of a fast on any possible baby, Sung said Milingo was her priority and that "my health and any other situation are secondary to that".

A Baptist minister in the group following Sung added: "The Archbishop's silence leads us to believe that his human rights are being violated."

The Vatican has said Milingo is on retreat for a "period of reflection and prayer".

The faith healer and exorcist said last week that he was torn between his wife, the Pope and his respect for Moon.

- REUTERS



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