Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Milingo on... Milingo

As the anniversary clock nears a year since his excommunication for starting a dissident group of married clergy and ordaining wed clerics as bishops and priests, Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo -- shown at right with his wife, Maria Sung -- communicated a status report on himself to a Zambian newspaper.

In his statement, the prelate with the famous penchants for controversy, Charismatic healing rituals, and impromptu soul-music concerts addressed allegations that he has joined the Rev Sun Myung Moon's Unification church, under whose auspices he married Sung in a 2001 ceremony in New York.
In his correspondence with the Times via email, Archbishop Milingo says he has not become a Moonist but states that Reverend Moon referred to him as a "unique person and a gift from God to humanity."

"It is a lie that Milingo has become a Moonist.[" Milingo said. "]Neither will such a fact satisfy Rev. Moon that Milingo becomes a Moonist. But if Milingo is thrown away from his cradle of faith, someone who understands who Milingo is picks him up as the Daughter of Pharaoh in Egypt saved the baby Moses thrown in the river Nile.

"Not even a wee bit of my Catholic Faith has accepted an inkling of change in my Catholic beliefs," Archbishop Milingo said.

Arcbishop Milingo said it was sad that, since he left in 1982, people in Zambia, had lost contact with him as he was forbidden to be in contact with them. The controversial Zambian prelate also attributed his friction with the Catholic Church as partly being due to his healing powers.

Archbishop Milingo stated that his healing powers had led him to be guarded by armed men like an animal while he was still at the Vatican.

"When I came twice to Zambia after marriage, I was guarded, and one of the soldiers carried an automatic rifle, even when he was eating at a table.

"What it has cost me to love God and neighbour! Just because I had the healing powers, which attracted thousands and thousands of people. The whole story of Milingo, a protected animal, begins from there," Archbishop Milingo said.

"How I longed to conduct a healing service whenever I came in Zambia. The Catholic Church instructed me that it was a private visit, therefore nothing public.

"Imagine, one having gifts of God to distribute, forbidden to give them to those in need," he said.

He said his life was a serious matter, which was still being molded in God's hands. That is why the Church made a mistake because they considered me a mere poor black guy," Archbishop Milingo said.

He stated that the 'Married Priests" movement would soon be going to Rome for a pilgrimage to the Tomb of St. Peter within the Vatican. He urged Catholics throughout the world to avoid being judgmental and learn to love as God did.

"God loves everyone with his defects. Don't judge," Archbishop Milingo said.
Continuing with things African Catholic, a report from Nairobi on the early fallout from yesterday's resignation of Archbishop Ncube:
[Ncube's] resignation on Tuesday over unproven allegations will no doubt shock many people who looked up to him for inspiration amidst the tragic reality of Zimbabwe. Catholics, ordinary Zimbabweans and all civic forces that have refused to die under the Mugabe onslaught might feel abandoned.

This is especially because, in the wider context, Archbishop Ncube's departure follows months of a fierce and open clash between [Zimbabwean] President [Robert] Mugabe and the Catholic Church over the country's political and economic crisis. Did he succumb?

In April, the Catholic bishops issued their strongest-ever pastoral letter in which they laid responsibility for the dizzying crisis squarely on the shoulders of Mugabe. The letter received acclaim throughout the Catholic world.

With diminishing access to food and other necessities, widespread human rights violations, crumbling social services and a restive populace, the bishops said, the situation had reached a flashpoint.

Shortly after publication of the letter, independent reports spoke of efforts by the country's security to block distribution of copies of the document. A United Nations humanitarian news agency reported ruling party militia intimidating rural Catholics.

President Mugabe not only dismissed the pastoral letter as "political nonsense" but also warned the bishops that they had "chosen a dangerous path" and vowed to "deal with them accordingly."

The threat did not silence the Church, however, particularly Archbishop Ncube who continued his fearless denunciation of the regime, once even suggesting that foreign powers should invade Zimbabwe to depose Mugabe and save the suffering population.

In July, Archbishop Ncube for the umpteenth time asked Mugabe, whom he called "a megalomaniac", to step down, as he launched a scathing church report detailing state brutality in his country.

Within days, state media was awash with dramatic reports and graphic pictures detailing an illicit affair between Archbishop Ncube and the wife of a junior state employee working in the archbishop's office.

Ncube's lawyers and civic groups dismissed the allegations as an orchestrated attempt to embarrass the archbishop. The Southern African Catholic bishops saw in the allegations attempts to divert public attention from the terrible political and economic crisis facing the country....

Today's Robert Mugabe is far cry from the charismatic, Jesuit-educated African nationalist who promised his people freedom, prosperity and justice at Independence 27 years ago. Instead he is the cause of his own people's sufferings.

Archbishop Ncube's pledge to continue the struggle should energize Catholics and all Zimbabweans as they work harder to bring to an end the tragic crisis in the once prosperous Southern African nation.

Washington Post File