[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 11 December 2006, 10:16 GMT
Archbishop defies Vatican again
Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo ordaining the two married priests
Archbishop Milingo ordains two married priests
An archbishop excommunicated by the Catholic Church two months ago, has ordained two more married priests in the United States, defying the Vatican.

Zambian former Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo provoked the church's ire in October after ordaining four married priests.

Archbishop Milingo, who is himself married, carried out the most recent ceremony at a church in New Jersey.

It goes against a Vatican ruling that Catholic priests should be celibate.

An estimated 70,000 former Catholic priests have abandoned their calling to get married.

Rebel

Archbishop Milingo, who has set up an organisation called "Married Priests Now", says reinstating married priests into the Church would help ease shortages of priests in the United States.

And he says a new Catholic Church is forming with or without the Vatican's blessing. "Jesus Christ himself never commented on adding celibacy to priesthood, even as he ordained the apostles," Archbishop Milingo told reporters before the ceremony.

Fifty-seven-year-old Raymond Grossworth said his marriage was no obstacle to performing his priestly duties.

"The church has had a long history of excommunication processes where anyone accused of violating church law has an opportunity for a church trial where the accused can present its case," he said.

"This hasn't happened with Archbishop Milingo."

Shock

The Archbishop shocked the Vatican in 2001 by marrying a Korean in a mass wedding ceremony in New York presided over by the founder of the Unification Church, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.

He renounced his marriage a few months later after being threatened by excommunication.

After a year of rehabilitation in South America, Archbishop Milingo spent four years with a religious community near Rome.

However, he then resurfaced in the United States earlier this year calling on the Catholic Church to allow priests to marry.

He said he wanted to change the Catholic church from within rather than leave it.

But after he ordained four married priests as bishops in Washington DC in October, the Vatican excommunicated him for breaking church rules.

It accused Archbishop Milingo of "sowing division and disarray among the faithful".


SEE ALSO
'Moonie' archbishop meets Pope
07 Aug 01 |  Europe

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific