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Archbishop tells Pope why he joined the Moonies

Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who earlier this year defected to the sect of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon and married a Korean woman, met with Pope John Paul II yesterday in an attempt to explain his actions.

"The meeting was the start of dialogue that one hopes can lead to positive developments," the Vatican said.

Milingo unexpectedly showed up at the papal summer residence at Castelgandolfo late on Monday but was not received by the Pope. He returned on Tuesday morning, but it was not clear until the last minute if the Holy Father would receive the 71-year-old charismatic faith healer and exorcist.

The meeting with the Pope took place just two weeks before a 20 August deadline for Milingo to publicly return to the Catholic fold, renounce Moon's sect and leave his wife or else face excommunication.

Vatican sources said at the time the Pope felt hurt by Milingo's action because the Pontiff had often been lenient with him when others in the Church felt he had to be disciplined for unauthorized faith healing and exorcism.

Last month, the Vatican ordered him to comply with conditions set by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.