Emmanuel Milingo: Rev. Moon's Key to Africa?
Richard Bartholomew printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Feb 04, 2007 at 05:28:19 AM EST
The South Korean Hankyoreh reports on the latest development in the saga of Emmanuel Milingo, the former Zambian Archbishop who is now associated with Rev. Moon:
Milingo showed up at a Unification Church gathering held in a central Seoul hotel on January 30, urging in an address that the Vatican allow Catholic priests to marry.

The archbishop is reportedly learning Korean to study the theology of Rev. Sun-myung Moon while staying at a hotel near Seoul, sources said.

..."The reason why we have been mum regarding his visit here is so as not to stoke the anger of Catholics," a source close to the Unification Church said. "[Milingo] will appear at an international academic gathering to be held at the Marriott Hotel in Seoul between February 20 and 23, and at the birthday party for Moon on the final day of the event."

This is not Milingo's first visit to Korea; back in September the Boston Herald reported that
...he said that he traveled to Korea this year "to join the many Catholics and Catholic married priests who are in the Unification movement."

As has been widely reported, Milingo (whose obsessive emphasis on demons and exorcisms had brought him under Vatican censure some years ago) first became linked with the Unification Church back in 2001, when he rather unexpectedly married a Unificationist, Maria Sung. Before long, however, he had repudiated his actions, and he expressed a negative view of Moon in a book by Italian journalist Michele Zanzucchi. UK Catholic magazine The Tablet provided an English-language summary (not now on-line):

Milingo says some disciples of Sun Myung Moon sought him out with invitations to speak at their conferences. The time he was allotted gradually grew, as did his audiences; soon he was leading mass healings in the packed theatres he had so missed.

...Milingo confesses to "a serious ignorance" about the Moonies; he knew only that they were rich and had mass weddings. He saw the [Family Federation for World Peace and Unification] as an interreligious organisation - his audiences were made up of Buddhists, Muslims, as well as Christians.

...Later he would realise he had "fallen into a trap, and the shock was greater than I had imagined".

...In order to be appointed an official preacher to the Catholics in the organisation, he was told, he would have to be married in the Moonie rite to a wife selected by Moon himself. "I agreed because, in my stupidity, I thought that this way I could do good." He was not drugged or hypnotised, he says.

...Meanwhile, the Moonies had plans: to found a well-financed parallel Catholic Church in Africa, autonomous from Rome, with its own hierarchy headed by Milingo. "I would not have gone along with the plan," says Milingo, who was becoming more and more depressed. "One day, one of the last I spent with Maria Sung, the situation I found myself in seemed so absurd that I raised to God a desperate prayer, whose last words were something like, 'Let me die, Lord, let me die.'"

A 2002 Guardian report added that Milingo claims to have had a document outlining the details of the proposed African church, but that it "mysteriously disappeared from his suitcase on his return to Italy".

All was quiet until last July, when Milingo re-surfaced in Washington DC with Augustus Stallings, a defrocked Catholic priest who also has links with Moon: Stallings (who was made an archbishop by a Catholic off-shoot) had hosted Moon's 2004 "coronation" in Washington DC. The "coronation", which took place in a governmental building, was famously revealed to the world by John Gorenfeld, who also charted the strange story of how Rev Moon has persuaded several African-American clergy to remove crosses from their churches. Milingo now runs a pressure group, "Married Priests Now!", which Gorenfeld noted also had links with the Unification Church: the website was registered by David Payer, Moon's webmaster and an unsuccessful Iowa Republican politician (Payer was discussed on Talk to Action here).

Meanwhile, Milingo's wife has recently visited Zambia; The Times of Zambia reported that she

...was received at the airport by International Inter-religious Federation for World Peace chairman Malimba Masheke and executive director Adamson Musonda.

Masheke is a veteran Zambian politician, and has served as the country's prime minister. He is also a Moon enthusiast; when Mrs Moon visited the country last year, his praise was gushing:

...I cannot measure the benefit of Mother Moon's visit to Zambia. Such a very, very tremendous blessing. When we look around the world from the Middle East to Korea, we see the conflict and struggle, and can see how important is the message we received.

The International Inter-religious Federation for World Peace, of course, is one of numerous Unificationist-run groups.

Back in September, John Allen reported that

Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo says he has no intention of launching a new sect in Africa funded by Rev. Sun Myung Moon as a rival to Roman Catholicism...

..."We have no ambition at all, in any way, to do anything of that kind," Milingo said.

But with Milingo continuing to delve into Moon's theology, and with past denials of links to Moon, one is inclined to be sceptical.

Moon is also involved with activities in Israel; his UPI reported in December:
Plans are to construct the Cultural Center for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Dialogue and Understanding over the next three years, a $7 million campus with space for meetings, academic research, education in communication and technology, and a library. The Israeli government has donated seven acres of land to the project in this area, almost entirely populated by Muslims.

...[Mahmoud] Mufare and Bustan Al Marg mayor, Ahmed Zoubi, are making the rounds of Muslim leaders in the United States, trying to raise the remaining $5 million needed to begin construction.

Mufare and Zoubi are members of Ambassadors for Peace and active in the Middle East Peace Initiative, both of which are projects of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). The UPF is a broad consortium of individuals and organizations brought together by Sun Myung Moon for the purpose of conflict resolution through greater harmony among world religious traditions.

by Richard Bartholomew on Sun Feb 04, 2007 at 05:35:36 AM EST

Rightwing Catholics sit on the board of the IRD - which in the US is coordinating attacks on mainline Protestant denominations by para-church organizations that function somewhat like parallel churches.

Now, the Unification Church seems to be starting a parallel church, to attack the Catholic Church in Africa.

It's not nice, but there's an interesting parallelism there.

by Bruce Wilson on Sun Feb 04, 2007 at 07:46:33 AM EST

an African American Roman Catholic priest, founded the schismatic Imani Temple in 1989. When he first got rolling with this more inclusive version of Roman Catholicism, he was open to women's ordination and married clergy. I think it's a real shame that by 1991 his followers were already complaining that he had got in bed with Moon.  I guess going it alone as head of his own church proved too tough.

by nogodsnomasters on Sun Feb 04, 2007 at 05:23:59 PM EST

I also got a hint like that and if my intuition is right, I think it would be a great thing to do by the network printer troubleshooting community. Things are yet to be made better in the African lands and I believe this is the best time to act on it.

by alexpaul on Mon Jan 14, 2019 at 01:34:51 AM EST

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