VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH:
Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo
"Celibacy & Married Priests Now!"
High-speed internet connection necessary.
archbishop declares new ministry
By Julia Duin
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
July 13, 2006
Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo,
the Catholic cleric who
upset the Vatican in 2001 by
taking a South Korean
acupuncturist as his bride
in a mass wedding organized
by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon,
yesterday announced the
formation of a new ministry
to persuade the Roman
Catholic Church to allow
priests to marry.
Surrounded by several
former priests, who are now
married, at the National
Press Club, Archbishop
Milingo, 76, couched his
challenge to Rome in
conciliatory language. "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."
He said several
impoverished former priests
"are selling doughnuts in
the street. Some have become
vagabonds. These people were
popular with their churches.
They just wanted to go back
to their origin as human
Archbishop Donald W.
Wuerl, presiding over the
Roman Catholic Diocese of
Washington, called the
Milingo announcement "a
surprise and a
disappointment," and noted
that he had earlier
reconciled to Pope John Paul
II "concerning a number of
matters that earlier [he]
Archbishop Wuerl quoted
the Catholic catechism that
sets out that priests accept
"with a joyous heart
celibacy [that] radiantly
proclaims the Reign of God."
The first synod of
bishops held under Pope
Benedict XVI last October
acknowledged a shortage of
priests but rejected
changing church doctrine to
allow priests to marry.
The former archbishop of
Lusaka, Zambia, Archbishop
Milingo renounced his
marriage to Maria Sung four
months after participating
in the mass nuptials and
returned to the embrace of
Rome. He has since been
under what he characterizes
as church-enforced house
arrest in Zagarolo, outside
He "escaped," he said,
in early June, when several
nuns overseeing him thought
he was taking a siesta. He
left, following the
belongings and personal
effects he had been sending
outside the compound for
several weeks, and left his
room keys on an altar.
The Vatican tried to
find him, asking officials
in Zambia to help. He came
to Washington on June 25 and
has been aided by the Rev.
George Stallings Jr., who
was suspended from the Roman
Catholic Archdiocese of
Washington in 1989 after he
organized his own church,
the Imani Temple, on Capitol
Hill. He appointed himself
archbishop of the new
said yesterday that
Archbishop Milingo has not
been reunited with Mrs. Sung
but expects to be soon. He
said the group has elaborate
plans for the new ministry
and that wives of priests
will make public appearances
in the future. The couple
will stay in Washington
until the archbishop's visa
expires in six months, and
then return to Zambia.
Archbishop Milingo was a
rising star in the Catholic
hierarchy and the
charismatic movement until
1983, when he was recalled
to Rome because of concerns
over exorcisms and healing.
He was assigned before his
marriage to a lesser post
overseeing Vatican policy
concerning immigrants and
ministry for married
July 12, 2006
Marriage should be an option
WASHINGTON -- Charismatic Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo announced Wednesday a new ministry aimed at reconciling married Catholic priests with the Church.
"There is no more important healing than the reconciliation of 150,000 married priests with the 'Mother Church,' and the healing of a Church in crisis through renewing marriage and family," said the 76-year-old Milingo.
In a press release issued before a Washington press conference, Milingo said married priests from Italy, South America and the United States would join his ministry for the renewal of family and for the future of the Catholic Faith.
He said the Catholic Church has nothing to lose by allowing priests the option to marry. Historically, out of holy marriages have come priests, popes, and loving servants of God and the Church."
The Zambian archbishop first attracted international attention and controversy in the 1980s for his faith healing and exorcisms, which were never formally approved by the Church.
Milingo went on to become a supporter of Reverend Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church, and consented to Rev. Moons arrangement of his 2001 marriage to South Korean acupuncturist Maria Sung.
According to Milingo, that 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."
"Archbishop Milingo is not seeking to defy or divide the (Roman Catholic) Church, but is acting out of deep love for the Church and concern for its future," according to Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, founder of the African American Catholic Congregation, in the same press release announcing the launching of Milingo's ministry.
-World Peace Herald
End mandatory celibacy for priests
By Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo
Director, Church of Sorrows
WASHINGTON, July 12 (UPI) We are dealing with a very serious matter that has affected the Catholic Church for many years. In the last 35 years since the International Catholic Synod of Bishops in 1971, the struggles surrounding celibacy have worsened. If in 1971, the church listened to the appeals of Bishops to offer celibacy as an option to those who would bind themselves to it for their entire lives, but let those called to be ordained priests, yet married, to fulfill their calling, then today we would not be harvesting straw instead of divine graces.
The seriousness of the matter was emphasized once again when the US Bishops raised the issue as we entered this third millennium. Once more the authorities in the Vatican waved it off, to the detriment of the church in USA and around the world.
Married priesthood has existed as early as the time of Moses, as we read in Leviticus that they were all married, the family of the High priest Aaron. Some argue that what was demanded in that priesthood was merely a legal purity. But when God demanded sanctity as a sign of being intimate with Him, this injunction of sanctity was still more applicable to priests: "Be holy, because I, your Lord, am holy." Sanctity or holiness is the first requirement of any priesthood, married or celibate.
The Apostles ordained priests and bishops, regardless of their marital status. St. Paul ordained Timothy and consecrated him to Bishopric. He ordained the first Bishop of the Island of Malta, who was a married man.
As St. Paul said to Timothy, the one condition he imposed upon a Bishop was to marry only once: "A Bishop must be irreproachable, married only once, temperate, self controlled, decent, hospitable,, able to teach, not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle, not contentious, not a lover of money" (Timothy 3:2-3).
Some people will be surprised to hear of what became of Zacchaeus, the short man whom Jesus called down from a sycamore tree and then visited his house. He truly was converted with his whole family, and ended being consecrated Bishop of Caesarea Philippi.
Jesus shared fully with all his apostles, both married and non-married, all that was required to be an Apostle. He did not show favoritism to any of them. Even as He gave them responsibilities, He looked to each one's capacity, and relied on each of them. The question of celibacy was not His preoccupation. I think that the demands presented by St. Paul to a candidate to Bishopric are more than sufficient for the life of a Bishop. Looking back to priesthood from which rank a Bishop comes the same demands are applied to the priesthood.
We hereby appeal to those Bishops who have been sent to the monasteries, condemned forever, never to appear any more to their faithful. Let them come out of their Catholic prisons and be reinstated, taking once more their pastoral responsibility among the married priests. Please let us know where you are, be in contact with us.
To those priests who may feel that by marrying they have stepped down or fallen short, unleash your burden of humiliation, exclusivity, and shame. Come among your fellow "sinners," so considered, who were to be branded, and to be forgotten forever as weaklings. Come in, but never come with lamentations. Your burden has been loaded off, you come light, released from any weight of sinfulness. Become a Magdalene, a Paul, a Peter or Augustine, or one of the many others who never looked back to their struggling past. They all became outstanding saints, in spite of their former weaknesses.
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. There is no more important healing than the reconciliation of 150,000 married priests with the Mother Church, and the healing of a Church in crisis through the renewing of marriage and family. The Church has nothing to lose by allowing priests the option to marry. Historically, out of holy marriages have come priests, popes, saints, and loving servants of God and the Church.
It is out of our love for our Faith and deep concern for its future that we proclaim this day, the end of mandatory celibacy, and the option for priests to sanctify the family as it was intended in the Garden of Eden, even as they fulfill their calling and ordination.
Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, the former Bishop of the archdioceses of Lusaka, Zambia is the founder and spiritual director of Church of Sorrows Spirituality Center, a ministry for spiritual healing in Zagarolo, Italy.
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VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH:
Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Jr.
"Archbishop Milingo & Married Priests Now!"
High-speed internet connection necessary.
News Headlines on Archbishop Milingo:
Church Excommunicates Zambian Archbishop Who Married (New York Times)
Archbishop Milingo defies warning from Rome(Catholic World News)
Church May Discipline Wedded Archbishop (CBS News - AP)
Zambian archbishop reclaims Korean bride (Telegraph, London)
Statements on married priests fret Vatican (Fox News - AP)
'Moonie' Archbishop Rocks Vatican (BBC, London)
Vatican rebukes controversial African archbishop for seeking celibacy-rule change (Catholic Online)
Zambia: Archbishop Milingo's Views On Celibacy
The Post (Lusaka)
July 18, 2006
As the body of Pope John Paul II layout in St. Peters and a million mourners filed past, theologians predicted that among the more immediate questions which would face the new Pope was that of clerical celibacy, amidst demands for the rule banning priests from marrying to be dropped.
And this month Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who married in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church in 2001 but later returned to the fold, appeared in Washington and held a surprise news conference announcing his intention to persuade the Vatican to allow priests to marry.
Archbishop Milingo commands a special place in the hearts of the Zambian people. Born 13 June, 1930 in a village in Chief Mpezeni's area in the Eastern Province, he came from a Catholic family and herded cattle in his childhood.
He went to a Presbytery school at St. Mary's in Chipata, then to Casina Dedsa in Malawi and was finally ordained as a priest in 1958 and posted to Minga Mission. He was later to advance his studies at uiversities in Italy and Ireland, rising to the position of Archbishop of Lusaka in 1969.
Then one night in 1973 as he prayed, he heard a voice telling him to go and preach the gospel and pray for the sick. Thus began the healing sessions which he always conducted during the celebration of Mass.
Besides faith healing and exorcism sessions, he admits having stubbornly formed a habit of including elements more connected to the local Zambian traditional culture in the liturgical celebrations, a development that the Catholic Church at the time was not pleased with.
He started to introduce drumming and dancing during Mass for the offertory procession and translated most parts of Mass, including music, into local languages.
Other priests within his diocese started writing protest letters to Rome and fearing that he might cause a split in the Church, he was whisked of to Rome where he encountered the same problem as he was practically forbidden to celebrate Mass of healing all over Italy. He remained progressively isolated and ridiculed by many within the Church.
From there onwards, the story takes a dramatic turn with one thing leading to another. According to the Archbishop, he came into contact with the Unification Church in 1990 where he was allowed to conduct faith healing sessions which drew large crowds in Rome.
And he says it was at this stage that Reverend Moon assured him that if the Catholic Church did not accept him, they would accommodate him and through them continue his mission to preach the word of God. But as time went on and for the Moonies to guarantee his place to carry out his mission, the Archbishop was told that he must marry.
So on May 27, 2001 Archbishop Milingo married Maria Sung "out of emotion" as he was to claim later. "When marrying I did not do it out of affection or emotion. It was because I was to be given a place to preach and teach the word of God," he said. "My reasoning was that if this was the only way through which I had to preach, I had to take it."
They left for a honeymoon to South Korea and returned to live together in New York. Three months after the marriage, the couple were scheduled to visit Zambia to meet his relatives but before they could fly to Zambia, they needed to pay a courtesy call on the Holy Father in the Vatican.
According to Maria Sung, they landed in Rome on August 6 accompanied by their bodyguard whom they sent on an errand at the airport. But he took long to return so the Archbishop had to follow after him but he too never returned.
The next thing she saw on television that evening was the Archbishop reading out a letter intended for her in which he said the marriage was over and that from now on he would regard her as his sister.
The Church sent the Archbishop to Argentina for a retreat for prayers and reflection at the end of which he would return to Rome.
When it was over, Archbishop Milingo visited Zambia for reconciliation with Zambia's Catholic Church, and was received by thousands at a mammoth Mass for him when Catholics from all corners of the country thronged the Kabwata Parish to celebrate the reconciliation Mass for the man.
He told the crowds that he never had any intentions of marrying Maria Sung but it happened and the Lord had shown him how far he could go if left alone but had brought him back to the church.
"I received a light that is so strong and I am not guilty about this thing with Maria Sung. From the day the Pope said to me "In the name of Jesus come back to the Catholic Church" I knew that God himself had forgiven me, regardless of all this nonsense that has been said."
The Archbishop Milingo story could have ended there, but for his escape to Washington where he held a news conference announcing his intention to carry out a crusade to persuade the Vatican to allow priests to marry.
This forces us to go back to a defiant full page article published in The Post, August 8, 2001, in which the Archbishop explained his intricate life including his views on healing and the justification of his marriage to Maria Sung in which he quoted extensively from the scriptures to prove that God had made man and woman for purposes of marriage. The following is what he said:
"In 1974 God gave me a gift and commanded me as the Lord had commissioned His disciples to heal the sick, cast out devils and preach the gospel. I offered my gift to my Church and her flock but my Church rejected it and tried her best to bind me.
When Africans expressed our love for Jesus through our own cultural forms just as Europeans had long done through theirs, the Church leaders grew to mistrust me. Rome seemed unable to conceive that these spiritual gifts in its young African church could indeed be from God. They called me a witchdoctor and branded the peoples' response as "voodoo". They feared I would only be trouble in Africa and so they exiled me to Rome.
"Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has become scandalised by immorality. Celibacy, once a vital part of the church's spiritual purity and power, has become a facade. Secret affairs and marriages, illegitimate children, rampant homosexuality, paedophilia and illicit sex have riddled the priesthood to the extent that the United Nations Commission on Human Rights has investigated the church for sexual abuse, and the Western media is filled with stories of lawsuits and scandals surrounding the church.
From such hypocrisy, how can priests be the sanctifiers of the community? Christ is mocked, the devil laughs and the church is powerless to overcome the onslaught of divorce, adultery and sexually transmitted diseases that plague society.
"And so I married not for mere personal satisfaction, not out of weakness or temptation, not secretly or shamefully, but in front of God and the world. The Lord has shown me the true purpose of marriage as the very reason He created man and woman.
Sanctified, faithful, monogamous marriage is not a step down from my vow of celibacy. It has raised it to a new level of fidelity. It is now time for the Church to take the same step. Men and women who are committed and faithful, parents who nurture and provide a moral example, loving homes where God is present and children are valued. These are the answers to the problems of the church and the problems of society.
"The Church's admonition includes the threat of excommunication if I do not meet three demands by August 20, 2001. In warning me, they arrogantly refuse to consider any of the issues that I have raised, or reflect upon what God may be saying to them.
They simply demand that I separate from my wife Maria Sung; disassociate with Reverend Moon and the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification and declare fidelity to the doctrine and Ecclesiastical discipline of celibacy. .
On celibacy the Archbishop stated: "The Priesthood was not founded upon the doctrine or discipline of celibacy but upon sacraments. As a representative of Christ, the priest sanctifies the community and like Christ lives for the sake of others. When St. Peter called us all to be obedient in all we do, he quoted Leviticus (the book of Priests) saying "Be holy, because I am holy." Celibacy as an ecclesiastical discipline was instituted in the 12th Century. Prior to that, 39 Popes and countless priests were married.
"Thus celibacy was an expression of the sacrificial life and was meant to enhance and strengthen the sanctity of Priesthood. It is an appendage, it is not a root. Like the appendix in our abdomen, as long as it harmonises with the whole, contributes and does not harm, it remains. But when it becomes infected, poisoning the organs and threatening the life of the body, it is removed.
In this way, celibacy which has become rotten and defiled is poisoning the sanctity of the priesthood, sapping the moral authority of the church and threatening its very life.
"Besides several scandals, more than 120,000 priests have left their Clerical positions over the issue of marriage since the Second Vatican Council in 1960. More than 40 million American Catholics have left the church during that time and even in a downsised church, more than 5,000 American diocese are without a resident priest."
He knew the criticisms levelled at him but justified every step he had taken: "what I have done, therefore, is in obedience to God and to provide a model. By combining the Sacrament of Holy Orders, which defines the priesthood, with the sacrament of matrimony, we will strengthen and renew the two parts while at the same time building a greater and stronger whole.
"So, I find myself having embarked upon an unexpected journey along an untravelled path. As surprising as the steps that God has led me to take may be, what is even more amazing is the great concern and anguish many have expressed concerning my fate and future.
But I ask those who have loved and prayed for me that your tears of sorrow be turned instead into tears of joy. I am indeed the happiest and most blessed of men, for God has heard my cry and answered my prayer."
One sceptic cynically referred to the above as Archbishop Milingo's Withenberg address, a reference to the thesis by Dr. Martin Luther (1483 - 1546) of the Reformation who in his address to the diet among other things defended his writings against the religious practices of the Roman Catholic Church as he saw it then.
Archbishop Milingo's Official Website
Married Priests Now! Blog