Friday, December 18, 2009

Vatican dismisses Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo

Retired Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo of Lusaka, Zambia, who attracted the world's attention in 2001 when he attempted to marry a Korean acupuncturist during a ceremony of Sun Myung Moon's Unificationist Church, has been dismissed from the clerical state.

A communiqué published today by the Vatican press office notes that the "dismissal of a bishop from the clerical state is most extraordinary," and adds that the Church "hopes that Archbishop Milingo will see the error of his way."

Although the scandal of Milingo's attempted marriage -- so noted because the Church doesn't recognize its validity -- garnered much more media attention, the Church didn't take the extreme measure to dismiss him from the clerical state until after he began in September 2006 to ordain bishops without permission from the Vatican. The ordinations are part of an effort to abolish celibacy in the priesthood.

"By so doing," the Vatican statement affirms, "he incurred the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae (Canon 1382) which was declared by the Holy See on 26 September 2006 and is still in force today."

Read the full Vatican Statement here.

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