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Korean ambassador mediates in Archbishop Milingo affair

The South Korean ambassador to the Vatican has stepped in to try to mediate between the Vatican and the Korean-born wife of an African archbishop, Emmanuel Milingo.

After the meeting the Ambassador said that the Vatican would agree to a meeting between the bishop and Mrs Sung to prevent her continuing her hunger strike.

Archbishop Milingo has been at the centre of a storm over his ecclesiastically invalid marriage. He married Maria Sung in New York three months ago at a ceremony arranged by the Family Federation, an American based religious sect popularly known as the Moonies. After meeting with the Pope, the archbishop disappeared. The Vatican then announced that Archbishop Milingo had agreed to renounce his wife.

But Mrs Milingo - now on the fifth day of a hunger strike - says she does not believe this.

Asked by the BBC through an interpreter what would persuade her to end her fast, Mrs Milingo said her condition was to meet her husband. She said she would insist on meeting him alone and would not accept a meeting with Vatican representatives present.

Mrs Milingo earlier refused delivery of a letter from her husband which Vatican officials tried to hand to her.

Archbishop Milingo, who is 71, is staying at a monastery somewhere in Italy where, the Vatican says, he is preparing himself spiritually for the end of his marriage.

BBC/Times (London)