.- Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, the erratic, retired Zambian archbishop who joined the Rev. Moon cult in 2001 appeared in Washington, D.C. today and has revealed that he is reestablishing contact with the Korean acupuncturist who he illicitly wedded in a ceremony of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon sect.
“Maria,” Milingo said, “is still my wife and will remain so until death.”
Milingo, who spoke at the National Press Club at the invitation of excommunicated Catholic priest and self-proclaimed Archbishop George Augustus Stallings Jr, said that he had reestablished contact with the Rev. Moon a month ago.
Milingo claims that his goal now, by his public reemergence and reaffirmation of his marriage to a woman through the sect, is to make a stand to awaken awareness for the need of the Catholic Church to allow married clergy. "I feel it is time for the church to reconcile with married priests," Milingo said.
The news service Adnkronos has reported that Milingo’s decision to leave his Italian home and return to the spotlight may be due to recent changes at the Vatican which may have prevented him the freedom to journey to his native Africa.
The Vatican official who was successful in bringing about Milingo’s repentance, renunciation of his “marriage,” and return to the Church in 2001 was Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Last week, Pope Benedict XVI promoted Bertone to the role of Secretary of State.
Adnkronos reports that according to a letter from Milingo’s lawyer, Emanuela Comerio, Milingo wants to return to Africa and may think his chances of doing so would disappear under Bertone. “In September,” she said, “Cardinal Bertone will take over for Sodano and its evident that Milingo must think that the change would influence his liberty in the sense that with Bertone he would surely have had little liberty of movement, including to foreign countries.”
The lawyer, however, did not deny the possibility that Milingo desires to return to Africa to rejoin the Moon sect.
Milingo, whose emotional stability has been in the spotlight since his ascent to the episcopacy, served as Archbishop of the diocese of Lusaka through the 70’s and early 80’s and became well known for his charismatic healing services. He retired as Archbishop of Lusaka at the age of 53. He turned 76 earlier this month.