VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican on Tuesday threatened to excommunicate an archbishop married in New York this spring in one of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's mass weddings. Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo was given until Aug. 20 to leave his new wife, sever his ties with Moon's movement, publicly promise to remain celibate and "manifest his obedience to the Supreme Pontiff." If he doesn't, he will be excommunicated, said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which enforces Roman Catholic orthodoxy. "The Church, obliged as she is to proceed to this painful action for the good of the faithful, does not cease to pray to the Lord, the Good Shepherd, for the desired return of the archbishop," the congregation said in a statement. The 71-year-old archbishop was married May 27 in a group ceremony at a New York hotel. His bride, 43-year-old Maria Sung, was selected by Moon, as is customary in Moon's movement, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. After his wedding, Milingo said he had "no desire to leave the church that I love." He said he'd kept his priestly vow of celibacy since 1958 and still considered himself a Catholic but had decided the church needed to change. "The sacrifice of celibate life has fulfilled its purpose," he said. The congregation said it decided to make the warning public because it did not know where to find Milingo to "invite him to reflect on the grave consequences of his conduct." Milingo has long been at odds with the Catholic hierarchy. He was archbishop of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, when he ran afoul of the Vatican over his faith healing and exorcisms. He resigned under pressure in 1983, a very rare occurrence with an archbishop below normal retirement age and in good health. Milingo then was brought to Rome as a functionary in the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, but continued public healing and exorcism. Last year, he was quietly retired from the post. After Milingo's wedding, a Moon spokesman said the archbishop and his bride, a South Korean doctor, planned to move to Africa.
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