Archbishop's Wife, on 13th Day of Hunger Strike, Prays For Reconciliation
Maria Sung, estranged wife of Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, entered the 13th day of her hunger strike Sunday in protest at her husband's return to the Church which had threatened to excommunicate him.
The South Korean doctor, who married the Zambian archbishop in New York on May 27 last in an open-air ceremony performed by Moonie sect leader Rev Sun Myung Moon, made her daily visit to St Peter's Square at dawn Sunday to pray in public for a reconciliation with Milingo.
Earlier, on Saturday evening, a tearful Sung had held a press conference at which she asked to be reunited with the archbishop.
"I cannot believe that you know that I have been on hunger strike for 12 days and yet you don't rush back to me," she said by way of a message to Milingo, adding: "It is not God's will that we be separated."
Her outburst came 24 hours after the archbishop had given an interview to Italian television station RAI, confirming that he had returned to the Catholic Church, and that he loved Sung "like a sister".
Milingo's marriage had prompted the Vatican to threaten him with excommunication for breaking his vows of celibacy.
Following a meeting with Pope John Paul II on August 7, the archbishop had disappeared to a retreat, whereabouts unknown, where he made known through a letter his intention to return to his vocation and renounce his marriage.
It was shortly after these events that Sung began her hunger strike. Dr Giuseppe Rossi, who is attending to Sung, says she is in danger and has urged her to end her hunger strike.
Phillip Schanker, spokesman for the Unification Church - official name of the Moonie sect - has made known that the Vatican sent him a message saying that the archbishop had returned to his retreat and needed two more days to reflect on the proposed conditions for the meeting with his estranged wife.
Schanker said he interpreted this as meaning that there would be no decision before Monday or Tuesday this week -- ROME (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)