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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 09:18, November 10, 2006
Zambian Catholic Church disowns excommunicated archbishop
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Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) has said that the excommunicated Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo is no longer a member of the Church, Zambia Daily Mail reported Thursday.

The ZEC made the announcement Wednesday in a reaction to Milingo's excommunication by Pope Benedict XVI last September.

ZEC president Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu said the former Archbishop cut himself from the church by his own actions.

Pope Benedict excommunicated Milingo citing irregularities and progressive breach in communion with the church after he ordained four married men as priests.

Mpundu said ZEC has decided to clarify the issue following media reports that Milingo is planning to return to Zambia early next year to continue with his faith healing ministry.

"We reiterate that the former Archbishop has been excommunicated. Excommunication means that he is no longer part of the Catholic Church and he therefore cannot preside over any religious functions in the name of the Catholic Church. If the former Archbishop wanted to return to Zambia, it was within his rights to return to his homeland," he said.

Milingo, who has reportedly re-united with his Korean wife Maria Sung has rejected his excommunication by the Vatican.

Milingo has long been a controversial figure in the Roman Catholic Church. Six years ago, he married a South Korean woman at a mass wedding in New York organized by the Korean-based Unification Church.

He was later persuaded by the Vatican to renounce the marriage, but has since rejoined his wife.

Milingo said earlier this year that his new mission was to persuade the Catholic Church to allow priests to marry.

Source: Xinhua

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