VATICAN CITY:Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who shocked the Vatican by marrying a woman chosen by Rev Sun Myung Moon, has written to Pope John Paul renouncing his life with his Korean wife and returning to the Catholic Church.
In a letter sent to th
"I am convinced he is a prisoner," said Sung, who married Milingo at a mass wedding organised by Moon in May and says she could be pregnant with the prelate's child.
"I have tried to move the consciences of people who are holding him. Now I think it is time to go to the police," she told a news conference in Rome. Last week Milingo turned up in Rome unexpectedly in an apparent attempt to make amends with the Vatican which had threatened to excommunicate him after his marriage. He has not been seen in public since last Wednesday.
Sung, 43, arrived in Rome a few days after Milingo met the Pope, demanding to see her husband. She started a hunger strike at midnight last night and has said she will not eat again until she either sees him or dies. "What the Vatican has said until now has been all lies. I don't believe it.
Someone else is making him say these things," Sung told reporters at her hotel near Rome's Fiumicino airport."Even if he telephones me and tells me he wants to leave me, I still won't believe it because I'm sure he will have been drugged," the South Korean acupuncturist added. Sung said that if Milingo did tell her he was leaving, she would continue a hunger strike "to the death and my spirit will remain alongside his". Asked about the effect of a fast on any possible baby, Sung said Milingo was her priority and that "my health and any other situation are secondary to that".
Rev Philip Schanker, a spokesman for the Unification Church, who has travelled to Rome with Sung, attacked the Vatican's behaviour in a saga which has gripped the Italian imagination and said Milingo's wife would take the matter to the police. "Tonight I fear only for the archbishop's life because any institution built on such falsehood will crumble no matter what," he told reporters. "This isn't the Middle Ages. If the Vatican wants to do the right thing, they should let Milingo speak for himself."
A Baptist minister in the group following Sung added: "The archbishop's silence leads us to believe that his human rights are being violated." The Vatican has said Milingo is on retreat for a "period of reflection and prayer".
The controversial faith healer and exorcist said last week he was torn between his wife, the Pope and his respect for Moon. In July, the Vatican read Milingo the religious riot act, saying he would be excommunicated unless he agreed to:
(a) Leave Maria Sung.
(b) sever all links with the sect, Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.
(c) declare publicly his fidelity to the doctrine and ecclesiastical discipline of celibacy and to manifest his obedience to the Supreme Pontiff by a clear and unequivocal act."
In the letter released on Tuesday, Milingo said he had heard the Pope's call to come back to the Catholic Church partly as "a paternal order to live out my faithfulness and obedience to you, Christ's representative on earth.
"I now rededicate my life to the Catholic Church with all my heart, I renounce my life together with (wife) Maria Sung and my dealings with Rev Moon and his Family Federation for World Peace," he added.