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Vatican: married archbishop repents

CNN, Aug. 14, 2001
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ROME, Italy (CNN) -- A Zambian archbishop who broke his vows as a priest and married a Korean woman has renounced his marriage and is back in favour with the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican has said.

Emmanual Milingo -- the archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia -- married Maria Sung three months ago in a mass wedding service held in New York by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, a Korean evangelist who founded the Unification Church in 1954.

The Holy See released a letter on Tuesday that it says was written by Milingo in which the 71-year-old archbishop met the three conditions set by the church in order for him to avoid excommunication.

"I, in this moment, recommence my life in the Catholic Church with all my heart," the letter read.

"I renounce my relationship with Maria Sung and renounce my relations with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon."

Milingo has not been seen in public since August 7, when he met Pope John Paul II at the pontiff's summer residence in Rome. The Vatican said Milingo had asked for private time for prayer and reflection.

Sung, 43, believes her husband is being held by the Vatican and is staging a hunger strike until she is able to see Milingo.

She has held several news conferences in Rome, and told reporters on Tuesday -- before the letter was released -- what she would do if Milingo left her for the church.

"If I can't meet him on Earth I am ready to die and with my spirit I will be close to him," she said. She has also indicated that she could be pregnant by Milingo.

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