He's Caused Deep Injury to the Church Communion

African Church Information Service/June 11, 2001

The Apostolic Nunciature here has released a statement from the Vatican regretting the participation of Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo in the Moon sect's public nuptial ceremony, saying he has "put himself outside the Catholic Church."

Reacting to the development, the statement from the Vatican said: "The Holy See took note, with deep regret, of the gesture performed by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo."

"Regarding the reports about Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, the Apostolic Nunciature in Lusaka would like to make known to the general public the following press release, issued by the Press Office of the Holy See," they said on May 28.

"With his participation in the public nuptial ceremony of the Moon sect he has put himself outside the Catholic Church, causing a deep injury to the Church Communion, which Bishops in the first place have to live and manifest.

"Consequently, he cannot be considered Bishop of the Catholic Church. The Faithful are invited to draw the appropriate consequences of his behaviour and his actions that constitute the pre-supposition for sanctions provided by Canon Law, which will be communicated to him and subsequently made known."

In a separate statement also issued here on May 29, the Apostolic Nunciature said it was "convinced that what happened now does not cast a shadow on the Catholic Episcopate as such, or on the Bishops, Priests, Religious and Catholics in Zambia."

Rather it makes all of us more humble and attentive, given that all men and women experience their fragility in the faith, which remains in the peril of loss until the last day of our life."

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