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CARDINAL MARTINI BIDS EXCORCIST STAY AWAY April 01, 1996

VATICAN (CWN)-- An African bishop, who has become popular in Italy because of his work as an excorcist and healer, has been asked by the Archbishop of Milan to stay out of that Italian diocese.

Cardinal Carlo Martini of Milan made the request in a private letter to Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, the former bishop of Lusaka, Zaire, who is now posted at the Vatican, which became public in Italy this weekend. Archbishop Milingo told reporters that he would comply with Cardinal Martini's request, although Italian journalists reported that several thousand Catholics in Milan had already signed a petition defending Archbishop Milingo, and asking their cardinal to explain his decision.

During the past year, Archbishop Milingo has traveled to Arluno, a town within the Milan archdiocese, once each month for a healing service. Cardinal Martini asked the African prelate to stop making such visits.

A native of Zambia, Archbishop Milingo was made Bishop of Lusaka in 1969. He became a controversial figure there, and his involvement in politics was a factor in the Vatican decision to replace him in 1983. He now serves in Rome as a special delegate to the Pontifical Council for the pastoral care of migrants.

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