VATICAN CITY, AUG. 30, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Maria Sung, the Korean who went through a Moon-sect wedding with Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo last May, was already married, an Italian newspaper reported.
Sung, 43, recently staged a two-week hunger strike to protest the archbishop´s decision to leave her and return to the Catholic Church. The Zambian archbishop, 71, heeded the Vatican´s plea that he leave Sung and the Sun Myung Moon sect in order to avoid excommunication.
In recent weeks, Moon´s Family Federation for World Peace and Unification had launched a media campaign to discredit the Vatican for persuading Archbishop Milingo to return to the flock.
Maria Sung and Moon sect spokesman Philip Shanker had attracted reporters to their Rome hotel with insinuations that Sung was pregnant by Milingo and that the Vatican was brainwashing the archbishop. Shanker, 47, was a U.S. financier who traveled throughout Africa and the Far East before he converted to the Moon sect.
When the story of the pregnancy proved to be unfounded, Sung went on a hunger strike, determined to meet with the archbishop.
When both the archbishop and Vatican agreed to such a meeting, it was Shanker who categorically refused it. The archbishop then wrote Sung, explaining his reasons for returning to the Church, but Shanker confiscated the letter before she read it.
On Wednesday, the Turin newspaper La Stampa revealed that Sung had been married to a 53-year-old Neapolitan state employee by the name of Salvatore (his surname has not been disclosed for reasons of privacy). It also reported that Shanker agreed to the Sung-Milingo meeting, which took place privately.
The sect ordered Salvatore not to make his marriage to Sung public, while she was married to the archbishop, La Stampa said.
The sect kept Archbishop Milingo virtually segregated after his marriage to Sung, not allowing him to see any of his friends.