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Catholic World News News Feature

Archbishop Milingo making unauthorized trip to Africa November 28, 2003

Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo has embarked on a trip to his native Zambia-- against the advice of the Vatican, and despite the opposition of the Zambian bishops' conference.

Archbishop Milingo drew worldwide headlines during the summer of 2001, when he attempted to marry a Korean woman, in a massive ceremony in New York organized by the Unification Church-- better known as the "Moonie" sect. Several weeks later, at an emotional meeting with Pope John Paul II, he expressed his contrition for that action, and sought to restore his regular status as a Catholic bishop. The Zambian bishop subsequently spent a year in seclusion, returning to Rome in the summer of 2002.

Since his return, Archbishop Milingo has been living in a community near Rome, in Zagarolo. But he reportedly found that life overly restrictive, and sought approval from the Congregation for Bishops for a trip to Zambia. The Congregation apparently advised against the trip. Nevertheless, the mercurial archbishop packed his bags and set off for Africa once again.

In Zambia, the Catholic bishops' conference also looks askance on the archbishop's visit. Archbishop Milingo had gained an enormous reputation in Zambia for his "healing services," which included some highly unorthodox elements. Eventually, after a series of complaints, he was removed from his post in Zambia and called to Rome-- where his healing services in other Italian dioceses brought new complaints.

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