Zambia News Agency, Dec. 6, 2002
A survey conducted by ZANA in Lusaka revealed that most of the catholics in the city were happy that the misunderstanding which had been created following the 72 year old archbishops marriage to Maria Sung, had finally been put aside.
Mr. Charles Mwaba a Catholic who congregates at St Ignatius parish told ZANA in an interview that the short lived marriage of Archbishop Milingo to the South Korean Acupuncturist had raised a number of concerns in the church in Zambia.
Mr. Mwaba said that had the same fate befallen a catholic who was not a Zambian citizen the impact would have been the same as catholic priests had been practicing celibacy from time in memorial.
Another Catholic, Mr. Peter Changu who congregates at Regiment Parish in Chilenje said the views of most of the catholics was that they were happy to get Archbishop Milingo’s explanation of the whole issue.
He bemoaned the fact that the highly publicised marriage had in fact caused damage to the Catholic Church as it had been accused of incarcerating the Archbishop.
He commended government for taking relevant steps and finding out the welfare of the Archbishop.
And Mrs. Anna Musenge, a 75-year-old staunch catholic who congregates at St Patrick’s parish in Kabwata said that though the Catholic Church had been going through hard times, the marriage of Archbishop Milingo had threatened to destabilise the church.
Speaking in Bemba, Mrs. Musenge who said she had been catholic since birth said she was impressed that the archbishop had decided to reconcile with the Vatican.
She said if he had not done so, it would have been a big blow to the catholic community especially in Zambia.
And Mr. Chibwe Changu of St Dominics Parish in Woodlands called on Catholics in the country to pray for the archbishop.
He said that the archbishop needed the support of the Catholics now than ever before.
Mr. Changu however bemoaned the fact that the Archbishop would conduct mass at St Patricks Parish saying the parish was not big enough to accommodate the thousands of Catholics and non-Catholics who hope to attend the mass.
He said the archbishop had left the country 20 years ago and Zambians were dying to hear him preach.
He said a lot would be disappointed if they do not listen to his mass.
Mr. Changu suggested that the mass be conducted at an open area preferably the Pope square so that as many people as possible witness the mass.
He pointed out that people had said that they would travel from different parts of the city to come and witness the mass, which will be the first one in two decades.
Archbishop Milingo arrived in the country three days ago.
Yesterday he met President Mwanawasa at State House, were he thanked the government for being concerned with his welfare during the time of his one-year retreat in Argentina.