Controversial excommunicated archbishop surfaces in Seoul

Posted on : 2007-02-01 15:18 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
After angering Catholics with his marriage, priest here to study under Sun-myung Moon

Former Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, a resident of Zambia that shocked the world by getting married - an act against church doctrine - has been secretly staying in Seoul to study the religion of the Unification Church, founded by the controversial Reverend Sun-myung Moon.

Milingo’s wife is Korean and a member of the Unification Church.

Milingo showed up at a Unification Church gathering held in a central Seoul hotel on January 30, urging in an address that the Vatican allow Catholic priests to marry.

The archbishop is reportedly learning Korean to study the theology of Rev. Sun-myung Moon while staying at a hotel near Seoul, sources said.

"The reason why we have been mum regarding his visit here is so as not to stoke the anger of Catholics," a source close to the Unification Church said. "[Milingo] will appear at an international academic gathering to be held at the Marriott Hotel in Seoul between February 20 and 23, and at the birthday party for Moon on the final day of the event."

Milingo, at the age of 72, surprised the Catholic world by marrying a 43-year-old South Korean named Maria Sung in a 2001 ceremony in New York presided over by Rev. Moon. After his marriage, he was callled to the Vatican, where Pope John Paul II persuaded him to announce his separation from Sung.

But in July of last year, he made a public appearance in Washington, D.C., urging the Vatican to allow priests to marry, and in September 2006 he ordained four married men as Catholic bishops without papal mandate. He was excommunicated following this act.

Milingo has been living with Sung as a married couple since August 2006.

Milingo has said that there are around 150,000 priests that have married across the world, and that the Vatican needs to abandon its "no-marriage" policy in order to seek reconciliation with these married church officials as well as to secure enough members for its priesthood.

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