SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 2001
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Prospects dim for meeting soon between archbishop, wife

OME: The South Korean wife of a Roman Catholic archbishop has once again rejected Vatican conditions for a meeting with her husband. A spokesman for the wife said negotiations with the church were continuing, but the pair would not meet Friday.

Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, 71, left Maria Sung, a 43-year-old acupuncturist, earlier this month and returned to the church after the Vatican threatened to excommunicate him.

Sung has been on a hunger strike for nearly two weeks, demanding a private meeting with her Zambian spouse. Despite the fast, Sung was able to stand for almost 10 minutes while she prayed in St. Peter's Square at noon, her second prayer vigil of the day there.

She kept her eyes closed, appearing unfazed by the clamor of the media and curious tourists swarming around her, and left without making a statement.

Sung and Milingo were married in May by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, leader of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification Movement, in a group ceremony in New York.

The Rev. Phillip Schanker, an official of Moon's church and Sung's spokesman, said there was no possibility of the couple meeting Friday, as expected. He said negotiations were continuing. Sung has been holding daily prayer vigils at St. Peter's Square. On Thursday evening, she was joined by around 100 people. "Where is Milingo?" read a banner draped in the square.

Milingo dropped out of sight on Aug. 8 after a meeting with the pope. The Vatican said he has been in spiritual retreat.
( AP )
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