.- An excommunicated Roman Catholic archbishop attempted to ordain another two married men as priests on Sunday. The Vatican has not commented on these, the latest antics of the former Archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia or the separatist archbishop’s admission that his movement is largely funded and supported by a man who claims to be, "humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord, and True Parent."
Emmanuel Milingo illicitly ordained Raymond Grosswirth of Rochester, N.Y., and Dominic Riccio of Newark at Trinity Reformed Church, in New Jersey, reported The Associated Press.
The ceremony concluded a two-day convention of Milingo's advocacy group, Married Priests Now! The group claims that celibacy for priests in the Roman Catholic Church should be optional.
Milingo, 76, was excommunicated after he installed four married men as bishops in September. A summit was later held at the Vatican, reaffirming mandatory celibacy for clergy.
Milingo was married in 2001 to a Korean acupuncturist chosen for him by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon in a wedding performed by Moon's Unification Church. Moon, who himself is on his third marriage, is known for matching couples and marrying thousands of them in a single ceremony.
This weekend Milingo confirmed Moon’s continuing association with his organization. He announced this weekend that Moon’s American Clergy Leadership Conference paid for much of the conference and is also funding Married Priests Now!
“Today we are present as beneficiaries of Rev. Moon," Milingo wrote in a statement he distributed this weekend. "In order to ensure the success of our convocation he dedicated his key organizations to give their utmost support in every way needed to the Married Priests Now!"
"I have witnessed the zeal of Rev. Sun Myung Moon for the realization of the Kingdom for God," Milingo wrote. "His concern for the welfare of the whole world makes him not only a world benefactor, but more importantly a person whose vision, humility and saintly life has awakened our own courage and determination to organize and do what we ourselves know is right from God."
Milingo’s association with Moon has caused evermore concern among Catholics. According to the AP, Moon’s followers regard him as "Lord of the Second Advent" who is providing the "physical salvation" that Jesus was unable to accomplish because he was executed and didn't marry. Jesus gave only "spiritual salvation," Moon says.
About 150 priests and their wives attended the weekend conference, along with leaders of other denominations who were invited as observers. Events included a renewal of vows by married priests and their spouses, who donned veils for the procession alongside their husbands, who were wearing clerical vestments.
One of the speakers was Margaret Starbird, an author who says Jesus was married to Mary Magdelene and they had a child. Author Dan Brown cites Starbird in his book "The Da Vinci Code."