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Cardinal says Moon put pressure on Milingo and Wife

The Archbishop of Washington on Wednesday accused the Church headed by Reverend Sun Myung Moon of having applied psychological pressure on both Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo and his wife.

The cardinal's words, issued by the Vatican in a statement, were released a few hours after the Vatican said Milingo wanted to meet his Korean wife Maria Sung to tell her if he was leaving her as the pope has demanded.

Milingo married Sung in a mass wedding performed by Moon last May. Sung, who started a hunger strike nine days ago asking to see her husband for a face-to-face talk, rejected conditions placed on the meeting.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the archbishop of Washington, also reiterated the Roman Catholic Church stand that it does not recognise marriages celebrated by Moon and reminded Milingo of the vow of celibacy he took when he was ordained.

"While (Sung) 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," McCarrick said, adding he understood her feelings and prayed for her.

"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," he added.

The Vatican's issuing of McCarrick's statement from Italy was a clear signal it wanted to add increased authority to his words. McCarrick is based in Washington, where Moon's Unification Church has one of its two headquarters. The other is in South Korea.