Protest at Vatican against disappearance of married archbishop

VATICAN CITY – A small liberal party protested at the edge of St. Peter’s Square on Tuesday against the Vatican’s seclusion of a Zambian archbishop who shocked the Church by marrying a South Korean woman last year, then backed out of the marriage after being threatened by excommunication.

Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo was married in a group ceremony in New York led by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon in May 2001. Milingo later agreed to heed Pope John Paul II’s appeal to abide by the priestly vow of celibacy, and then disappeared from public view.

“We don’t know where Milingo is. But the real problem is that his followers, the people who love him, and whom he loves haven’t known for a year where to find him,” said Radical Party secretary Daniele Capezzone. “I hope it’s a voluntary period of silence and prayer, but I fear it’s something else. I fear he’s not a free man.”

“The cover of silence kept by the Vatican bureaucracy is the sign of something,” said Marco Cappato, a member of the European Parliament. “It is a sign of the fear that the Church has when it has to deal with sexuality.”

Milingo was brought to Rome in 1983 after resigning from his post as archbishop of Lusaka for performing faith healings and exorcisms. He was later removed from his Vatican post dealing with immigrant issues after he attracted thousands of people from across Europe seeking cures for cancer and AIDS.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday August 24, 2002.
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