Excommunication Deadline on Hold for Milingo

Decision Follows Ex-archbishop´s Meeting with Pope

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VATICAN CITY, AUG. 8, 2001 (Zenit.org).- A deadline for the excommunication of an archbishop who married in the Sun Myung Moon sect has been lifted.

The move followed Tuesday´s unexpected meeting between John Paul II and Emmanuel Milingo, former archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, who married in a May ceremony presided over by Moon.

According to Father Ciro Benedettini, assistant director of the Vatican Press Office, Aug. 20 “no longer has the character of an ultimatum, as Monsignor Milingo´s talk with the Pope was a truly new event, which has changed the perspective.”

Both sides in the case will have the time necessary to examine the situation and come to decisions, Father Benedettini told the press today.

Last month, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said in a note that the excommunication of the archbishop would come into force Aug. 20, unless Milingo left Maria Sung and the Moon sect, and publicly declared his fidelity to the doctrine and discipline of celibacy and his obedience to the Supreme Pontiff.

Milingo is famous for his exorcism and healing ceremonies, which were often unauthorized. He married his Korean bride in a collective ceremony May 27 in a New York hotel.

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