27 MAY: ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY IN 2001
ARCHBISHOP GETS MARRIED
2001 Sun Myung Moon
gets Catholic Archbishop married.
A Roman Catholic archbishop who says God wants him and the Catholic Church to shed the celibacy rule marries an acupuncturist in a group wedding conducted by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, 71, is wed in a group marriage ceremony Sunday at the New York Hilton. The bride, chosen for him this same week by Moon, is Marie Sung, 43, an acupuncturist from South Korea.
The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, the central group in Moon's movement, says that the newlyweds plan to move to Africa.
Milingo has long been at odds with the Catholic hierarchy, although he remains based in Rome and still carries his title. He said in a prepared statement that he had kept his priestly vow of celibacy since 1958 but has decided it's time for Catholicism to change. "The sacrifice of celibate life has fulfilled its purpose. We enter the era when every man and woman is called to fulfill his or her original purpose to reflect God's image," he said.
Milingo also stated: "I have no desire to leave the church that I love." Asked at a news conference whether the church would now excommunicate him, Milingo said: "It doesn't affect me." He said he still considers himself a Catholic and that Moon's religious teachings are in line with the Bible, but the Vatican was expected to take action against him.
Moon does not require those who take part in his wedding ceremonies to follow his religion.
Milingo was archbishop of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, when he ran afoul of the Vatican over his ministry of faith healings and exorcisms. He resigned under pressure in 1983, a very rare occurrence with an archbishop below normal retirement age and in good health.
Milingo then was brought to Rome as a functionary in the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, but continued public meetings of healing and exorcism. In 2000, he was quietly retired from the post.
Roman Catholics, and in fact most Christians, consider Moon's doctrines well beyond the bounds of traditional Christianity. For instance, Moon's church says that Jesus was divine "but he is not God," and followers regard Moon as the messiah who is completing the salvation Jesus Christ failed to accomplish.
In each of the past two years, Milingo has appeared at group weddings conducted by Moon. The rituals, called "Holy Blessing Ceremonies," are a central practice of Moon's religion. Moon arranges the marriages personally. Moon teaches that Jesus' ministry as messiah failed because of Jewish rejection and because he did not marry. Thus the "Lord of the Second Advent" must appear at the end of time and, with his wife, become ideal "True Parents." The faith teaches the second messiah was born in Korea around 1920, so the 81-year-old Moon fits the criteria. Moon has been married twice and has 13 children.
He moved from South Korea to live in the United States in 1973, and controls myriad nonprofit associations and business ventures. His faith received bad publicity over allegedly deceptive recruiting tactics and panhandling by disciples while Moon lived in luxury. Moon blamed religious persecution when he was later found guilty of tax evasion and sent to federal prison for 11 months.
In a group marriage ceremony presided by Sun Myung Moon, Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, 71, weds Marie Sung, 43, an acupuncturist from South Korea, which Moon had designated for him that same week. The Milingos plan to move to Africa.
Milingo was archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, but had to resign in 1983 because of his practices of faith healings and exorcisms. He was then given a job at the Vatican in the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, but persisted in his healings and exorcisms. He was retired in 2000. Now he says that the Church must change and everyone must get married. Moon teaches that Jesus' ministry as Messiah failed because he did not marry. Milingo says that he is not leaving the Church and does not care if he is excommunicated.
His Grace [should be His Disgrace] Archbishop Milingo has a web site in his name, but seemingly made by Moonies, on which views attributed to him are expounded..
Moon teaches that the "Lord of the Second Advent" must appear at the end of time (and more precisely that he was born in Korea about 1920, which fits Moon) and, with his wife, become ideal "True Parents." Moon has been married twice and has 13 children. He moved from South Korea to live in the United States in 1973, and controls myriad nonprofit associations and business ventures. His religion has been accused of deceptive recruiting tactics and panhandling by disciples while Moon lived in luxury. Moon was found guilty of tax evasion and sent to federal prison for 11 months.
Milingo would soon repent and, after an audience with the Pope, he would go on a retreat and, on 11 August 2001, write a short letter to the Pope saying that he is recommitting his life in the Catholic church with all my heart, renouncing my living together with Maria Sung and my relationship with the Rev. Moon and the Family Federation for World Peace." and concluding with the formula: "I am your humble and obedient servant."
Il testo integrale della lettera di Milingo al Papa:
Sua Santitą Papa Giovanni Paolo II,
Io sottoscritto, dinnanzi a Sua Eminenza il Cardinale Giovanni Battista Cheli, a Sua Eccellenza l'Arcivescovo Tarcisio Bertone, dopo aver concluso il colloquio sulla questione in discussione: tramite il loro consiglio e fraterna correzione, e quella da parte di Sua Eccellenza Mons. Stanislao, io in questo momento ri-impegno la mia vita nella Chiesa Cattolica, con tutto il cuore, rinuncio alla mia convivenza con Maria Sung e ai miei rapporti con il Rev. Moon e la Federazione di Famiglie per la pace mondiale.
Soprattutto le Sue parole, "Nel nome di Gesł, ritorna nella Chiesa Cattolica", sono state sia un richiamo alla mia Chiesa Madre, sia un ordine paterno rivolto a me per vivere la mia fedeltą e obbedienza a Lei, Rappresentante di Gesł sulla terra, capo della Chiesa Cattolica.
Raccomandandomi alle Sue preghiere e alla Sua Benedizione. Io sono, il Suo umile e obbediente servo. Arcivescovo E. Milingo
Archbishop Milingo and South Korean Marie Sung applaud Sun Myung Moon
during their group marriage ceremony performed by Moon
Sitting together for photographs after the group wedding are, from left,
Sun Myung Moon, Moon's wife Han Hak-ja, Archbishop Milingo, and Milingo's new bride
Archbishop Milingo and his new bride, Sung Ryae (Mary Sung), show off their wedding rings