At midday today, in Rome, the Holy See released a brief statement regarding the reappearance of Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo in Washington, D. C. yesterday.
The Holy See said that it has not yet received, “precise information concerning the aim of the journey to the United States of America by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo.”
"In any case,” the statement continued, “if the declarations attributed to him concerning ecclesiastical celibacy were to prove authentic, the only thing to do would be to deplore them, Church discipline on this matter being well known."
CNA reported last night that Milingo, the erratic, retired Zambian archbishop who drew massive attention in 2001 has appeared in Washington, D.C. and reportedly 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,” the Milingo said, “is still my wife and will remain so until death.”
Milingo was speaking at the National Press Club at the invitation of excommunicated Catholic priest and self-proclaimed Archbishop George Augustus Stallings Jr. According to the New York Times, Stallings was accused of sexual misconduct with a man in his parish in 1989 and was to be sent for treatment by the Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal James Hickey. Stallings refused his treatment and began his own church, the Imani Temple, of which he appointed himself Archbishop. Since that time Stallings has sought to expand his church by embracing priests who have renounced their ordination promises and sought illicit marriages.
According to the Washington Times, the Stallings event at which Milingo was speaking, was to announce Milingo’s newly formed “ministry” to persuade the Roman Catholic Church to allow priests to marry.
Milingo claims that his goal, apparently by means of public reemergence in disobedience to Rome and reaffirmation of his sectarian marriage, is to make a stand to awaken awareness in the Catholic Church for the need to bring married priests back into the ministry. "I feel it is time for the church to reconcile with married priests," Milingo said.
The report said that Milingo was surrounded by several married former priests, and disguised his attack on the ancient discipline of the Catholic Church with words of reconciliation. "To our beloved mother church, we beseech you to open your arms to these prodigal children who have longed to return home and have so much to offer," he said. "There is no more important healing than the reconciliation of 150,000 married priests."
Milingo’s words yesterday are contrary to those he spoke in 2001 when he admitted that his marriage was not recognized by the Church, "and out of respect and love for the Holy Father," he "honored the pontiff's request to return to his healing ministry in Rome.”
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.
Milingo, who’s 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.