ROME: The hunger-striking wife of a Roman Catholic archbishop who enraged the Vatican by getting married may meet with her husband this week, a spokesman for the wife said on Thursday.
Giuseppe Bellabarba, of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification Movement, said Maria Sung, 43, and Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, 71, are likely to meet on Friday.
He said details of the meeting are still being worked out.
Sung, who is from South Korea, and the Zambian archbishop were married in a group wedding in May by the Rev. Sung Myung Moon, leader of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.
The Vatican wants the meeting to take place at the South Korean embassy to the Holy See in the presence of an interpreter. The South Korean ambassador has been trying for days to arrange the meeting.
Sung has been on a hunger strike since Aug. 14 to force a private meeting with her husband.
The Vatican lifted its threat to excommunicate Milingo when he left his wife and said he was returning to the church after a private meeting with the pope earlier this month.
ROME - Emmanuel Milingo, the archbishop who shocked the Vatican in May by marrying a woman chosen for him by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, said on television today that he was returning to the Roman Catholic Church and that he loved his wife as a sister.
Archbishop Milingo, who had not been seen in public for more than two weeks, appeared on Italy's main evening news broadcast to explain his decision and to read a letter he said he had tried to send to his Korean wife, Maria Sung.
"My deepest desire is to obey the Holy Father and submit to the laws of the Church," said Archbishop Milingo, 71, who is Zambian.
"I love you as a sister and I will continue to pray for you for the rest of my life," he added.
Ms. Sung watched the broadcast surrounded by reporters on a huge screen set up in the conference room of her Rome hotel.
"It's not possible, it's not possible. He's been drugged, he's been drugged," she said after Archbishop Milingo had read the letter. She then stood up, wringing her hands, and went to her room.
The Vatican, already unhappy with Archbishop Milingo for his colorful healing ceremonies and exorcisms, was furious when he married Ms. Sung and threatened to excommunicate him unless he renounced his wife and Mr. Moon.
Earlier this month, Archbishop Milingo unexpectedly turned up in Rome in an attempt to make peace, then promptly disappeared for what the Catholic Church called "a period of reflection and prayer."
Ms. Sung, 43, replied by starting a hunger strike 10 days ago, threatening not to eat until she saw her husband again.
Members of Mr. Moon's Unification Church, working with Ms. Sung in Rome, said diplomatic negotiations with the Vatican to arrange a meeting between Archbishop Milingo and Ms. Sung had stalled time and again this week.
They said that Ms. Sung had insisted that she and the archbishop should meet alone face to face and that she would accept no other form of communication.
USAKA - The Zambian government has summoned the Vatican's ambassador to Lusaka to explain the controversy over the marriage of Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, local newspapers said on Thursday.
"We are following up the matter seriously," Zambian Foreign Minister Keli Walubita said.
"Our concerns are that we have not been apprised of what was going on," he was quoted as saying by the state-run Times of Zambia.
The former archbishop of Lusaka has been at the centre of controversy since he pledged his troth to a Korean woman, Maria Sung, despite his vow of celibacy as an ordained Catholic priest, in a mass Unification Church wedding ceremony last May.
But Milingo last week renounced his marriage vows, saying he was returning to the fold of the Catholic Church.
He is expected to meet Sung in person to explain his decision, made after an audience with Pope John Paul II.
Orlando Antonini, the Vatican ambassador to Zambia, met Wednesday with Zambian foreign ministry officials, according to the paper.
Zambian Vice President Enoch Kavindele earlier this month said Milingo had a responsibility to his wife just like any other man.
«Alla mia sorella Maria Sung pace in Cristo. La mia madre Chiesa cattolica mi ha chiamato a ritornare nel suo ovile. Alcuni prelati mi hanno parlato in nome di Gesù per aiutarmi a capire la grande responsabilità che ho nella Chiesa.
Le persone che mi cercano e mi aspettano sono molte.
Più di queste sono soprattutto le congregazioni fondate da me stesso che attendono la mia guida spirituale. Le parole del Santo Padre mi hanno commosso: «In nome di Gesù Cristo ritorna nella Chiesa cattolica».
Il mio vivo desiderio è quindi obbedire al Santo Padre e sottomettermi alle leggi della Santa Madre Chiesa.
Io ti amo come sorella. Continuerò a pregare per te per tutta la mia vita, il Signore ti benedica».
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