Archbishop's Book Confesses All on Moon Marriage

Reuters/September 8, 2002

Vatican City -- Emmanuel Milingo, the archbishop who shocked Catholics by marrying in Rev Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, says he may have been brainwashed.

Milingo, 72, was used to hearing confessions. Now he is making a confession of his own in a new pray-and-tell book called "Fished out of the Mud,'' an advance copy of which was made available ahead of publication this week.

Milingo disappeared from the Vatican in spring 2001 to marry Maria Sung, a 43-year-old Korean woman whom Moon, the controversial South Korean-born evangelist, chose for him.

The archbishop shocked the Vatican by attending the mass wedding in a tuxedo and kissing his white-gowned wife for the cameras in a ceremony in a New York hotel.

"Maybe I was the object of a type of brainwashing,'' he says in the 160-page book published by the Edizioni Paolini.

Milingo, a Zambian faith healer, wrote the book with Italian journalist Michele Zanzucchi from the pampas of Argentina, where he has been living in isolation ahead of a planned return next month to Italy, where he has a big following.

"I didn't realize what I was getting myself into. I only understood later that it (the wedding) was a way of them getting total control over me,'' he said.

He refuses to reveal if he consummated the marriage.

In August 2001 Milingo and Sung came to Rome separately.

He said he wanted to rejoin the Church. She went on hunger strike, gave bedside interviews and claimed the Vatican had kidnapped her husband.

Milingo had a long history of difficult relations with some Vatican officials because of his unorthodox ways, including tent revival-style masses in hotel ballrooms and public exorcisms.

The Vatican, which never recognized the marriage, threatened Milingo with excommunication. He left Sung, rejoined the Church and went into seclusion a year ago.

"I was naive to think that I could still keep my membership in the Roman Catholic Church. On the other hand the reality was different. With that act (the wedding) I became one of them,'' he said. " It was all so strange. It was like a strange dream.''

Love Via Translators

After they were married, Milingo and Sung went to South Korea for a honeymoon which he said was "not very sweet'' before living together in New York for a few months.

She spoke very little Italian or English so a translator had to help them communicate.

Asked several times by the author of the book if he had ever had intercourse with Maria, Milingo refused to respond.

"Forgive me but I won't answer that question. What happened will remain only in my memory. I don't want to talk about those moments,'' he said.

"On one day, one of the last I spent with Maria Sung, the whole thing seemed so absurd to me that I was praying to God: 'Lord, make me die, Lord, make me die,''' he said.

Milingo says the Unification Church wanted to use him to set up what he calls a "parallel Catholic Church'' in Africa, autonomous from Rome, in which he would have been the head.

He said a document about the plans for a new church in Africa mysteriously disappeared from his luggage in Rome when he arrived to make amends with the Vatican in August 2001.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.