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Holy See Comments on Archbishop Milingo

VATICAN CITY, JULY 13, 2006 ( Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo is again in the news, this time reportedly to campaign for a change in Church discipline on priestly celibacy.

The Vatican issued a statement today, saying: “The Holy See has not yet received precise news on the purpose of the trip to the United States of Monsignor Emmanuel Milingo, archbishop emeritus of Lusaka, Zambia.

“However, if the statements attributed to him about ecclesiastical celibacy are true, there would be no alternative but to deplore them, the discipline of the Church in this respect being well known,” concluded the brief communiqué.

On his return to the Catholic Church at the request of Pope John Paul II in August 2001, Archbishop Milingo, native of Zambia, acknowledged that, having gone through a crisis, he sought recognition for his work in the “Moon” sect.

A few months earlier in that year, he had entered a supposed marriage — not recognized by the Catholic Church — with Maria Sung, in Korean Reverend Sung Myug Moon’s “Federation of the Family for World Peace and Unification.”

Today, the Italian newspaper Avvenire reported that, after a few weeks of not knowing Monsignor Milingo’s whereabouts, he appeared on Wednesday in Washington.

According to the Italian Catholic newspaper, the prelate said at a press conference that he has gone back to Maria Sung, that he has met again with Moon himself and that he is contesting priestly celibacy.

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