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Archbishop's Wife Says Has No Regrets


The Associated Press, Sat 1 Sep 2001
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NEW YORK (AP) — The wife of an African archbishop who violated his church vows by getting married said she had no regrets.

``We are an eternal couple, no matter what,'' said Maria Sung, arriving in New York on Saturday, days after she and Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo parted ways.

Sung, 43, and Milingo, 71, married in May in a group ceremony in New York led by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, head of the South Korea-based Family Federation for World Peace and Unification Movement.

Threatened with excommunication, Milingo announced in late August that he was heeding the pope's appeal to return to his church and embrace the vow of celibacy required of its priests. Weeks after leaving Sung, he met with her Wednesday and told her he would not stay married to her.

Speaking through a translator, Sung told reporters Milingo had told her he would be with her in her heart.

``I don't have any problems with his decision because he loves the Catholic Church so much,'' Sung said. ``I believe his being separated from the Catholic Church would have been a greater pain than being separated from me.''

The Vatican has not said what Milingo will do now that his marriage is over. Even before the marriage scandal, Milingo had problems with the church.

In 1983, the pope brought Milingo to work at the Vatican. Milingo had been in Zambia, where he led the diocese of Lusaka. But last year Milingo was removed from his Vatican post dealing with immigrant issues after he attracted thousands of people from across Europe seeking cures for cancer and AIDS. Milingo has also performed exorcisms.

Sung had no definite plans for her future, saying she was considering her options.



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Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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