Moon Over Imani

Washington Post/May 18, 2001
By Lloyd Grove

Trying to quell the outrage sparked by Tuesday's item on his impending marriage to a young Japanese woman handpicked by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, Archbishop George A. Stallings Jr. and his fiancee, Unification Church member Sayomi Kamimoto, paid a visit to the Washington office of the Afro-American newspaper. But The Post's Hamil R. Harris reports that Stallings, a defrocked Catholic prist who was excommunicated in 1990 after forming a breakaway religious movement, may have dug himself into even deeper trouble.

"I chose a Japanese wife because . . . they are dedicated to their husbands, they are gentle and they work with them," the 53-year-old pastor of Washington's Imani Temple said about his 24-year-old bride in an interview with Afro-American editor Janice Frink Brown. "I wanted a woman who would do things with me and for me--one who would take care of the kids and not one who desired to party all the time."

Brown writes in tomorrow's edition: "Holding hands like two giddy kids on a high school date," the couple insisted "that despite rumors of an arranged marriage, they are in love." The planned Stallings-Kaminmoto nuptials--now set for May 27 in New York, with the Rev and Mrs. Moon officiating--have caused the cleric a PR disaster. "Members of the congregation have serious problems with Bishop Stalling's connection to the Moon organization," a member of the Imani Temple told Harris yesterday Fearing that Stallings might be brainwashed, several clergymen are demanding a meting.

"I have temporarily suspended my church membership until this matter is resolved," said Imani Temple member Mark Thompson, a host on radio station WOL-AM. "Bishop Stallings needs to be kept in our prayers at this time."

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