We Won’t Be Blackmailed Over Milingo – De Jong

The Post (Zambia)
August 13, 2002
Webster Malido And Larry Moonze

We will not be blackmailed to disclose where Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo is, Bishop of the Ndola Catholic Diocese Dennis De Jong has said.

Bishop De Jong yesterday said the Catholic bishops took strong exception to the Unification Church‘s orchestrations in the press against the Catholic Church. “We as bishops and all sincere friends welcome the privacy the Archbishop is enjoying,” Bishop De Jong said.

“We will not be intimidated or blackmailed to disclose his address. The eleven thousand signatures Rev. Banda of the Unification Church has collected do not impress us.”

Bishop De Jong said Archbishop Milingo has never been in a prison and was living in a very beautiful apartment as some of his relatives who have visited him before could attest. “Even now the year away from Rome according to Archbishop Bertone who is our intermediary, our Archbishop Milingo is well, not sick as is alleged by the Moonies,” he said.

He said it was not difficult to get busloads of supporters in such cases as long as there was a small token. “All you need is a bit of ‘shake shake’ or cash as motivation,” he said.

Bishop De Jong said the press reports about Archbishop Milingo being imprisoned and sick was part of a campaign by the Unification Church which he said was now becoming “boring and sickening”.

He said Archbishop Milingo’s relatives who claimed not to have been allowed to meet him were sponsored by the Unification Church to ‘make noise’ in Rome.

He said these relatives could not meet the Archbishop because he was on a retreat outside Europe so that he could be away from the Moonies and the media. Bishop De Jong said the Unification Church needed Archbishop Milingo more for their purposes than he needed them.

“They are angry that the Archbishop has slipped through their fingers,” he said. Bishop De Jong denied claims that Archbishop Milingo’s property had been confiscated. He dismissed the woman journalist claiming that Archbishop Milingo was shackled as a Moonie journalist and supporter of the Unification Church.

He said under the United States Human Rights Charter, individuals uphold their freedom of domicile and therefore no one could force Archbishop Milingo back to Zambia if he has chosen to live and work elsewhere. Bishop De Jong assured that when the dust settles, the Archbishop would come to Zambia for an informal visit to relatives and friends.

He said Archbishop Milingo had actually been given a Church by one Italian bishop from which he can minister and continue his healing ministry. Bishop De Jong said Archbishop Milingo has already been given an apartment where he will live as well as a stipend for his living expenses. “Archbishop Milingo, we were informed, likes the arrangement and has already stayed there before he went on a sabbatical or extended leave for a year to be far from the media and the Moonies,” he said.

Bishop De Jong said the Zambian government should not allow itself to be drawn into a dubious campaign of hate against the Catholic Church. He also called on the police to use their discretion in dealing with the planned demonstration against the Papal representative in Zambia.

On Sunday Lusaka Catholic Archbishop Merdado Mazombwe denied reports that Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo was in prison. Addressing a Catholic men’s Insaka at Thorn Park Catholic Church, Archbishop Mazombwe asked Catholic believers to dismiss media reports that Archbishop Milingo was in custody.
He disclosed that Archbishop Milingo recently met Pope John Paul and requested to go for an eight month long retreat at the Vatican. Archbishop Mazombwe said it was wrong for other churches to demonstrate against the Vatican on a matter which had nothing to do with their religion.

But Rev. David Masupa, who is a member of Archbishop Milingo Human rights campaign committee, yesterday said the issue was beyond religious doctrines. “You tell us the truth on Milingo and not threats,” he said.

Rev. Masupa said the campaign committee on Milingo had nothing to do with the congregational doctrinal faith of the Catholic Church but was concerned with his human rights.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday August 14, 2002.
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