Statement of Cardinal McCarrick
Archbishop of Washington
The Press Office of Vatican
August 23, 2001

Our hearts are troubled by the pain which Maria Sung undoubtedly feels at this difficult time in her life. While she may believe she is doing the right thing, in all likelihood her actions are the result of a process of psychological pressure and unrealistic reasoning.

The truth is the ceremony that was conducted by Reverend Moon has no real connection with true marriage and even less with Christian marriage. It was based on a belief in the divine mission of Mr. Moon and not on the Divinity of Jesus Christ. Yet, it is this divinity that gives the true sacramental character to Christian marriage. We who profess our belief in the essential and permanent character of the sacrament of matrimony also believe with equal conviction in the sacrament of Holy Orders, by which a man, be he priest or bishop, is bound by the grave bonds of his promises of celibacy and fidelity that he freely professed at ordination. These are very serious elements of a priest's vocation, even more so when that priest is a bishop. They are not to be taken lightly.

The bishop's union with the Church is fittingly described by the Fathers and Theologians of the Church as a marriage. Thus, any attempt to destroy that union in order to substitute another would be similar to a woman threatening suicide if the already married man she wants to marry will not leave his lawful wife.

We pray for Maria Sung. We hope for her peace of mind and soul through which she may find the Lord and His own deep truth and love.

We pray also for Archbishop Milingo that, having recovered his freedom of conscience, he may be confirmed in his faithfulness to Christ and to his Church.