Archbishop Milingo Is Back in Rome

Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, the controversial Zambian prelate whose attempted marriage and subsequent repentance commanded worldwide headlines, has returned to Rome after a year-long retreat in Argentina.

Archbishop Milingo has been in Italy for several days, local newspapers report. He is staying in a private home outside Rome provided by the Focolari community. And the African archbishop plans to resume his public ministry, offering healing services and performing exorcisms. The Vatican has authorized the resumption of this public ministry.

The archbishop's book about his highly public dalliance with the Unification Church has been in print in Italy since earlier this month; a French edition is due to appear in October. In it Archbishop Milingo offers his opinion that "Moonie" sect sought to establish a new religious movement in Africa to draw believers away from the Catholic Church.

Maria Sung, the Korean woman appointed by the Unification Church as Milingo's partner in a New York marriage ceremony, has also returned to Rome in recent days. Sung, who had previously been in Zambia-- the archbishop's native country-- told the Italian daily that her love for Milingo is "stronger than ever." She contended that "he is and will remain a priest-- but a married priest." But she admitted that the archbishop has not sought a reunion with her since last year, when he admitted that their union was invalid.