Milingo affair

The Post (Zambia), Aug. 15, 2002

The explanations given by the Catholic leadership in Zambia about the condition of Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo appear to be credible.

And we hope those who are genuinely concerned about Archbishop Milingo’s plight will hold their fire. Bishop Dennis De Jong is a highly respected clergyman and there is no justification to doubt his word. No one has any record of him having lied or having crooked anyone.

We appreciate the high interest the followers of Reverend Moon have shown in this matter. Archbishop Milingo was certainly the biggest catch by the Moonies and it is understandable why they can’t let him slip through their fingers without putting up serious effort to get him back.

This probably explains why even the Catholic Church has not excommunicated Archbishop Milingo although by their regulations his action would have automatically warranted this consequence. It would have been a big blow for the Catholic Church to lose an Archbishop to the Moonies – to get him back the Catholics who are generally rigid about their regulations and procedures could not hesitate to bend rules.

As for the Moonies, there is need for decency and civility in their quest for Archbishop Milingo. Their friends in the Catholic Church have given what appears to be a convincing position on Archbishop Milingo and there is need to give their word a chance. If Archbishop Milingo is indeed not well, his condition will not be a permanent secret, the truth will soon be known.

We hope they will now devote their energies to the many other problems that afflict the great majority of Zambians. If they are indeed driven by a very high sense of humanity and justice, they will find that there are many other more cases in Zambia deserving their intervention and commitment. This is, however, not to say Archbishop Milingo’s plight is not important. There is no human being whose life is not important and who should be left to die.

As for Dr. Maria Sung, there is need sometimes to accept the result – positive or negative – of one’s effort. In human relations, especially where questions of the heart are concerned, there are only two possible outcomes: it’s either you are loved or not loved and both should be accepted. What may be wrong is fearing to seek, or ask for, what one wants. Being rejected in matters like this shouldn’t be a big issue.

And Dr. Sung who has been married twice before should know that when one door is closed, many more may be opened. She should marshal enough courage and accept that things have failed with Archbishop Milingo. With the explanation given by Archbishop Orlando Antonini, the Apostolic Nuncio, we hope Mpezeni, the paramount chief of the Ngoni people, will demobilise his impis against the Catholic Church.

However, there is need for Mpezeni to know that he has no powers, whatsoever, to interfere with his subjects’ rights of worship. He has no powers to ban the activities of the Catholic Church in his chiefdom – doing so will be a criminal act for which he may be prosecuted. There are many deserving injustices committed against his people which really deserved a strong reaction from him – but we have never seen it. Why? What have the Moonies given him?

We ask this question because the Inkosi ya ma Nkosi has a record of not working for nothing – when he does something it’s usually for a pay.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday August 16, 2002.
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