ROME, SEPT. 16, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo revealed that Sun Myung Moon wrote a document in which he planned to create a schism in the Catholic Church, beginning in Africa, with the Zambian’s help.
The revelations of the former archbishop of Lusaka appear in a book-interview entitled “Fished Out of the Mud,” now on sale. The archbishop had been on a yearlong spiritual retreat in Argentina after his Moon-managed “marriage” and reconciliation with the Church.
The schism plan, to which the Reverend Moon initially allocated $5 million, was confirmed by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The congregation is handling the case at the request of John Paul II.
“Unfortunately, a schism is always possible when a bishop separates from the Church,” the Archbishop Bertone explained. His comments appeared in the latest edition of the magazine Famiglia Cristiana.
After many hours of conversation with Archbishop Milingo, the Italian prelate believes that Moon’s religious sect took advantage of the Zambian’s ingenuousness.
“He is a simple man, of noble spirit, a man of prayer and charity,” Archbishop Bertone said of Milingo. “He would give everything to help someone who is desperate; this impetus of charity sometimes leads him to transgress the norms of the Church.”
Archbishop Milingo’s staged marriage to Korean acupuncturist Maria Sung “was only a way to make himself thoroughly accepted [by Moon’s sect] and to try to evangelize it,” the Vatican official said.
However, Archbishop Bertone, who took part in the talks that preceded Marcel Lefebvre’s schism in 1998, added: “Whoever thinks that we did more for Archbishop Milingo than for Lefebvre is mistaken.”
He also explained why Archbishop Milingo spent a year on retreat in Argentina with the Focolare Movement.
“We could not put him in a monastery cell,” Archbishop Bertone said. “The Focolares have a style of acceptance and charity that seemed appropriate for him. Moreover, they chose two priests to live with Archbishop Milingo. And this was an exquisite gesture of charity that not all were prepared to offer.”