The Vatican announced Tuesday that Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo has notified the pope by letter that he is returning to the Catholic Church and leaving his newlywed wife. On May 27, Milingo started a controversy when he married a woman chosen for him by Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon.
After an ultimatum from the Vatican to leave his wife and renounce Moon, Milingo met privately with the Pope last Monday. Since then, he has not been seen in public. The Vatican has not released information on Milingo's whereabouts but said he is on a prayer retreat.
On Monday, the pope received Milingo's letter, which read: "I now rededicate my life to the Catholic Church with all my heart, I renounce my life together with (wife) Maria Sung and my dealings with Rev. Moon and his Family Federation for World Peace."
Milingo's wife is certain the Vatican is holding Milingo against his will, and has begun fasting. She plans to starve herself to death unless the Vatican releases him. She told reporters Tuesday that she might be pregnant.
Bylaw could affect Lutheran-Episcopal pact
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Churchwide Assembly concluded yesterday in Indianapolis. In addition to the decision discussed in yesterday's Weblog to study homosexuality, the chief legislative body of the church also passed a controversial bylaw on Saturday, which could disrupt relations with the Episcopal Church.
The amendment will, in "unusual circumstances," allow pastors to be ordained without a bishop. The authority to preside at an ordination could be delegated to another pastor. This bylaw substantially changes the "Called to Common Mission" (CCM) agreement with the Episcopal Church. Under the pact, bishops are required at ordinations of new pastors.
The CCM went into effect in January. It allows the two churches to swap clergy and sacraments. Prior to the agreement, a bishop was not required at Lutheran ordinations, and some Lutherans were upset it was changed under CCM. To accommodate them, this bylaw was offered as a concession saying the ordination without a bishop was okay at certain times with approval.
The Episcopal Church isn't pleased with the change. Frank T. Griswold, III, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, released this statement:
We are concerned that the ELCA has decided to adopt the bylaw entitled 'Ordination in Unusual Circumstances.' This appears to be a unilateral alteration of the mutual commitment that both our churches have solemnly made to enter into full communion based on CCM. Obviously, it is too early to tell how frequently the 'ordination in unusual circumstances' will occur, or what the Episcopal Church's likely response will be. Only our General Convention can speak officially on that.
- Pope urged to apologize for Vatican castrations | New Research alleges years of papal support of mutiliation for better singing voices (The Guardian)
- Ads on taxis urge women as priests | Massachusetts Women-Church has rented signs atop 20 Boston taxicabs demanding that the Vatican allow women to be ordained as priests (The Boston Globe)
- AIDS Prevention Prompts Soul-Searching by Clerics | Africa's Roman Catholic bishops ponder Vatican ban on contraceptives and disease prevention. (International Herald-Tribune)
- Stymied Diplomats Wait as Taliban Discuss Detainees | American, Australian and German representatives arrived in Kabul Tuesday (Reuters)
- Under fire, Taliban hardens line | Afghanistan's rulers rejected pardons yesterday for 24 aid workers accused of promoting Christianity (Christian Science Monitor)
Other stories of Interest:
- Gays Seek Adopt-a-Highway Sign and Get Cold Shoulder | South Dakota denies road marker to an "advocacy" body. Governor may scrap entire program. (Los Angeles Times)
- A Phenomenon of Biblical Proportions | How a minor Old Testament figure became a magnet for the faithful and a marketing miracle (Los Angeles Times)
- In W.Va., a Tiny Church That Touches the Heart | 24-by-12-foot church claims to be the smallest in 48 states (The Washington Post)
- God Beams in Mysterious Ways | Hand-held computers help spread holy words (The Fort Worth Star Telegram)
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