Controversial Zambian archbishop a married priest - again

The Holy See has written to controversial Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo asking him to repent and again leave the Korean woman whom he "married" in 2001 and to stop his activities with the Married Priests Now! lobby group he has created.

AP reports that Archbishop Milingo, who married a South Korean acupuncturist, Maria Sung, in a ceremony celebrated by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church, has received a letter from the head of the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops demanding that Archbishop Milingo send a letter of repentance to the Pope by 15 October or face "canonical suspension."

"Your behaviour, activities and public statements during these past few months are completely contrary to the obligation of every bishop," Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re wrote in a letter to the Archbishop.

"In the name of Jesus Christ, I beg you to reflect seriously on your behaviour and all its consequences."

Asked how he would respond, the Archbishop said, "I will stay with them", referring to his married clergy advocacy group.

About 120 couples from the group are meeting this week in New York City.

Archbishop Milingo had previously renounced his marriage with Maria Sung following a personal appeal from John Paul II.

This past July, he reappeared in the US to announce his new organisation. He says he now lives with his wife in the Washington DC area.

However, other Catholic advocates of a married priesthood are keeping their distance from Archbishop Milingo, the Houston Chronicle says, citing his links with the Unification Church.

Church may disclipline wedded archbishop (Houston Chronicle, 18/9/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Holy See Congregation for the Bishops

Archbishop Milingo returns to ministry (CathNews, 20/11/02)
Archbishop Milingo expected to return to full ministry (CathNews, 4/6/02)
Vatican regrets marriage of Archbishop Milingo (CathNews, 30/5/01)
Korean ambassador mediates in Archbishop Milingo affair (CathNews, 21/1/01)

19 Sep 2006