Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon has married countless thousands of couples, but few have caused as much controversy as the ceremonies he performed Sunday. Of the 60 couples married, two grooms were archbishops. And one of those, Emmanuel Milingo, is a Roman Catholic archbishop—which means he's not supposed to get married at all.
"By participating in the public rite of marriage of the Moon sect, he has, in fact, placed himself outside the Catholic Church, and has inflicted a serious wound on the communion which bishops above all must show with the Church," says Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls. "He cannot therefore be considered a bishop of the Catholic Church and the faithful are invited to draw the appropriate conclusions from his behavior and his actions, which constitute the premise for the pertinent canonical sanctions, which, in the near future, will be communicated to him and then made public."
In other words, it's excommunication time. Milingo has danced with Vatican discipline before, mainly over his faith healings and exorcisms. Such actions cost him the position of Archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, and a lesser post in the Vatican's office for migrants.
Milingo says he doesn't care about the Vatican's actions. "It doesn't affect me," he said after the ceremony. "I have an obligation to carry out what the Lord wants, and that's what I'm doing."
Most media reporting on Milingo's rebellion have focused on the marriage aspect of the wedding rather than the Moonie part. And indeed that's what Milingo focused on in his prepared statement. But surely the Vatican is at least as troubled by Milingo's statements that Moon is "doing the Lord's work." ...1
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