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Vatican Excommunicates African Archbishop


The Vatican has excommunicated Roman Catholic Archbishop and four men he recently ordained. From Rome, Sabina Castelfranco has more on the Vatican's excommunication of the prelate from Zambia.

On Sunday, Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo ordained four married men in Washington, D.C. who claim affiliation with a group that has broken away from the Roman Catholic Church, the Synod of Old Churches. On Tuesday, the Vatican excommunicated him and the men he ordained.

In a statement, the Vatican said Milingo is responsible for causing divisions and concern among the faithful. It added that he is in a condition of irregularity and of progressive open break in with the Church.

Excommunication in the Roman Catholic Church means a person can no longer receive the sacraments or share in acts of public worship.

It is not the first time that the prelate has angered the Vatican. In 2000 he married a South Korean acupuncturist in a mass wedding in New York conducted by Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church.

Milongo, the former archbishop of Lusaka, later left his wife and was forgiven by the Vatican. But in June he went missing from a convent south of Rome where he had been living in near-seclusion for the past four years.

When he resurfaced in Washington the following month, he announced at a news conference that his new mission was to persuade the Vatican to allow priests to marry.

Milingo had a strong following when he lived near Rome because he was believed to have special powers and the ability to help those possessed by the devil. He was known to perform mass exorcisms and healing ceremonies.

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