Emmanuel Milingo
Archbishop of Lusaka
Church Roman catholic Church
Personal details
Birth name Emmanuel Milingo
Born June 13, 1930
Nationality Zambia
Denomination Roman Catholic
Residence Zambia

Emmanuel Milingo (born June 13, 1930) was a former Roman Catholic archbishop from Zambia.

In 1969, when Milingo was only 39, Pope Paul VI consecrated him as the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Lusaka.[1]

In 1983 he was asked to step down from his position as Archbishop of Lusaka for his performance of exorcisms and faith healing practices unapproved by Church authorities.[2]

In 2001, when Milingo was 71, he received a marriage blessing from Sun Myung Moon, the leader of the Unification Church, despite the prohibition on marriage for ordained priests.

On 24 September 2006 Milingo ordained four men as bishops without a papal mandate. All four men were married at the time of their ordination. For this act (illegal episcopal consecrations have occurred before, as in the case with Marcel Lefebvre), the Holy See declared Milingo excommunicated.[3]

Also, on December 11, 2006, in Washington, the archbishop ordained four married men as priests. He established the Married Priests Now organisation as a personal prelature to care for and to reintegrate into the church's ministry many of the estimated up to 110,000 Roman Catholic priests worldwide who had left the formal ministry and been married.

On December 17 2009, the Holy See announced that Milingo had been reduced to the lay state, making unlawful the participation by the faithful in any future celebrations by him.

Education and ordination

Milingo was educated in St Mary's Presbyterial School in Chipata and attended the Kasina Seminary and Kachebere Seminary. He was ordained a priest in 1958. He was the parish priest in Chipata from 1963 to 1966 and founded the Zambia Helpers' Society during this time. He was the secretary of Mass Media at the Zambia Episcopal Conference from 1966 to 1969 and when he founded the Daughters of the Redeemer. Pope Paul VI consecrated him as bishop of the Archdiocese of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. He served there from 1969 to 1983.

The Ministry of healing and resignation

In the 1970s Milingo believed that he had the gift of healing through prayer. This soon attracted huge crowds. European missionaries, particularly some Polish Jesuit priests, criticized him for this and also for using elements of traditional African religion in his healing sessions. He was called to the Vatican for an investigation to which he submitted. When under investigation in the Vatican he got the support of the charismatic movement in the Roman Catholic Church. As a consequence he was heard by Pope John Paul II and was given permission to continue his healing sessions in Italy where he became a celebrity and got the support of large groups of young people. He was also given a papal assignment to serve as Head of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples. (video interview).

In 1983 he was asked to resign as the Archbishop of Lusaka because his return to Zambia could easily have led to a split in the Zambian Roman Catholic Church due to his enormous popularity. Many Zambian Catholics interpreted his call to Rome as an act of racialism and as a lack of understanding and acceptance of African spirituality.

Criticism of the church

On 17 March 1992 he gave an "imprimatur" to the book On the Eucharist, a Divine Appeal, a collection of messages said to have been given by Jesus Christ in an apparition and written from September 8, 1987 to 1991 by Sr. Anna Ali, DOJS. These messages were a traditional call to conversion and Eucharistic devotion, as well as expressing sadness over the current state of the Catholic priesthood. Milingo was in the 1990s still counted among the "far-right" critics of the institutional Church. During this time, he became well-known in traditionalist and sedevacantist circles for a speech he gave at the "Fatima 2000" International Conference on World Peace, held November 18–23, 1996, in which he charged that high-ranking members of the Church hierarchy were "followers of Satan" or otherwise enabled evil:

"The devil in the Catholic Church is so protected now that he is like an animal protected by the government; put on a game preserve that outlaws anyone, especially hunters, from trying to capture or kill it. The devil within the Church today is actually protected by certain Church authorities from the official devil-hunter in the Church — the exorcist. … To the question, 'Are there men of the Curia who are followers of Satan?' Milingo responded, 'Certainly there are priests and bishops. I stop at this level of ecclesiastical hierarchy because I am an archbishop, higher than this I cannot go.' Milingo cited papal statements to back up his charges. 'Paul VI said that the smoke of Satan had entered into the Vatican'"[4] (Reported in The New American, 3 March 1997).

He also said that the Church tolerated homosexuality and disregarded the obligation of clerical celibacy:

Secret affairs and marriages, illegitimate children, rampant homosexuality, and illicit sex have riddled the priesthood to the extent that the UN Commission on Human Rights has investigated the church for sexual abuse…"[5]


In May 2001 Milingo said that the Roman Catholic Church should provide priests dispensation from the obligation of celibacy and should readmit married priests to the priestly ministry. He said that he would set the example. At the age of 71, he and Maria Sung, a 43-year-old Korean acupuncturist, married in a Blessing ceremony in New York. Following his marriage the Archbishop was called to the Vatican by Pope John Paul II, where he had to promise not to see his wife anymore, and to move to a Capuchin monastery. Milingo protested the order, saying,

""How can I now leave my wife? ... For 43 years as a celibate priest ... I only knew God as a male. Now, through my union with Maria, I have come to see the other side of God's heart, which is female."[6]

In 2001 Sung went on a hunger strike to protest their separation. This attracted much media attention.[7]

In interviews on Italian television in 2002, he said that he had spent a year in penitential prayer and meditation in Argentina, at a Capuchin monastery in a place called O'Higgins.[8] In November, 2003, he made a trip to Africa over the objections of the Catholic bishops there.[9] In 2004 and 2005, he kept a low profile and media accounts suggested that he was living in or near Rome without any official assignment at the Vatican.[10]

Ordination of married priests

On July 12, 2006, Milingo announced at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. his "plans to embark on an independent charismatic ministry to reconcile married priests with the Catholic Faith" as an advocate of the removal of the rule of celibacy for Latin Rite priests in the Catholic Church; the group was called Married Priests Now!.[11] The sponsor of the press conference was MJT Television. Also speaking was Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Jr., a well-known excommunicated priest, who founded his own Imani Temple African-American Catholic Congregation, which the Roman Catholic Church considers schismatic and heretical.

Stallings nevertheless said that "Archbishop Milingo is not seeking to defy or divide the (Roman Catholic) Church, but is acting out of deep love for the Church and concern for its future."[12] Milingo also announced that he wants to bring the Unification Church of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon closer to the Vatican. He announced he wanted them to co-operate in bringing religion to the world. In August 2006 Archbishop Milingo rejoined his wife, Maria Sung, and they live together as a married couple.

In October 2007, Milingo's Vatican passport was revoked, ending his status as a person with diplomatic protection from the Vatican City State.[13]


On September 24, 2006, Milingo consecrated four married men as bishops.[14] Each of the four claimed already to be a bishop. Stallings was one of the four. The others were Archbishop Peter Paul Brennan of the African Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of the Americas, who according to one website was first consecrated a bishop on June 10, 1978 and subsequently reconsecrated in October 1979 and twice more in March 1987; Archbishop Patrick E. Trujillo of the "Old Catholic Church in America"; and Archbishop Joseph J. Gouthro of Las Vegas, presiding bishop of the "Catholic Apostolic Church International".[15]

Two days later, on 26 September 2006 the Holy See's press office announced[16] that both Archbishop Milingo and the four men involved in the episcopal consecration ceremony had automatically incurred excommunication in accordance with canon 1382 of the current Code of Canon Law.[17] Since, as canon 1405[18] states, only the Pope himself has jurisdiction in an ecclesiastical penal case against a bishop, this declaration did not signify that Archbishop Milingo was subject to the consequences (indicated in canon 1331 §2) of a judicially imposed or declared excommunication. The declaration of the Holy See ("By this public act, both Archbishop Milingo and the four ordinands have incurred the latae sententiae excommunication that is indicated in Canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law.") instead indicated that, since Milingo's action was a public act, anyone could see that he had incurred automatic excommunication, with the equally automatic consequences indicated in canon 1331 §1. It also stated that "the Church does not recognize and does not intend in the future to recognize these ordinations or any ordinations derived from them, and she holds that the canonical state of the four alleged bishops is the same as it was prior to the ordination."


On December 17 2009, the Holy See announced that Milingo had been reduced to the lay state.[19] One newspaper presented this action as making him a mere layman, and calling him Mister Milingo,[20] but the Holy See's declaration referred to him repeatedly as Archbishop Milingo, and explained the effect of what it called, in the case of a bishop, a "most extraordinary" action as "loss of the rights and duties attached to the clerical state, except for the obligation of celibacy; prohibition of the exercise of any ministry, except as provided for by Canon 976 of the Code of Canon Law in those cases involving danger of death; loss of all offices and functions and of all delegated power, as well as prohibition of the use of clerical attire. Consequently, the participation of the faithful in any future celebrations organized by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo is to be considered unlawful."

As in this extract, the Holy See's statement refers to Milingo as "Archbishop Milingo" not only when speaking of his past deeds but also with regard to his present situation and his future actions.

The statement then concludes with: "At this moment, as the Church experiences profound sorrow for the grave acts perpetrated by Archbishop Milingo, she entrusts to the power of prayer the repentance of the guilty party and of all those who - be they priests or lay faithful - have in any way cooperated with him by acting against the unity of Christ’s Church.".[19]

Music and books published

Milingo recorded two music albums. The first was entitled "Gubudu Gubudu" produced by GENEPI musical edition of Aldo Azzaro and Laura Scoccia, with a subsequent single of the same name, produced in 1995.[21] His second album was generally dedicated to the battle against evil and was produced three years later, following the relative success of the first.[22]

In 1998 he co-produced, with the Italian cartoonist Mario Verger, an autobiographic cartoon set to music by Lucio Dalla, with the arrangements of Ron and Aldo Azzaro, entitled Milingo the Spirit of Africa.

In 2007 the new music album "Milingo Experience" came on the web. It is produced by Aldo Azzaro for GENEPI musical edition[23]

Milingo wrote a good number of books about his ministry of healing and his exorcism. They contain details about "the world in between" human beings and the divine, a world of evil and of good spiritual beings. Titles: "The Flower Garden of Jesus the Redeemer", "Demarcations", "Precautions in the Ministry of Deliverance", "Make-Joni" (illustrated by Arnold Chimfwembe) (1972, Lusaka: Neczam), "The World in Between: Christian Healing and the Struggle for Spiritual Survival" (1984, London: C Hurst; Maryknoll, N Y: Orbis Books), "Le mie preghiere non sono ascoltate" (1987), "Guaritore d'anime: la mia storia, la mia fede" (con Renzo Allegri) (Milano: Mondadori, 1997).

Prof. Gerrie ter Haar (ISS, The Hague, The Netherlands) published a full length study about Milingo, titled "Spirit of Africa: The Healing Ministry of Archbishop Milingo of Zambia", London: Hurst, 1992. This is the published version of her Ph.D. Thesis from Utrecht University, The Netherlands.

In January 2008, Milingo published his autobiography in Italy titled Confessioni di uno scomunicato.[24][25] As of November 2008, there was no English edition.


  1. A Short Biography of Archbishop Milingo
  2. "After being appointed Archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, Milingo discovered that he had healing powers which enabled him to cast out evil spirits. The Vatican responded by removing him from Lusaka but Milingo continued his healing work in Rome." (Library Journal)
  3. "A September 26 announcement from the Vatican press office noted that by ordaining bishops without the approval of the Holy See, Archbishop Milingo had incurred the penalty of excommunication."CWNews
  4. This oft-repeated phrase is falsely attributed to Pope Paul VI. What the Pope actually said - referring to the widespread disregard by members of the Church for the Church's teaching and their preference instead for the opinions of self-proclaimed secular prophets - was that he felt as if "the smoke of Satan had entered through some crack into the temple of God", meaning the Church.[1]
  5. Milingo Accuses Catholics of Illicit Sex, Homosexuality allAfrica
  6. Archbishop rejects Vatican ultimatum
  7. The archbishop's wife speaks for herself National Catholic Reporter August 31, 2001
  8. Return of the Prodigal Son Buzzle
  9. Archbishop Milingo making unauthorized trip to Africa Catholic World News
  10. Married archbishop back at Vatican CNN
  11. Archbishop launches married priests movement
  12. Archbishop Milingo: 'Married Priesthood Now'; Healer Missing from Italy Emerges in U.S., Proclaims End to Mandatory Celibacy U.S. Newswire
  13. Vatican pulls passport of excommunicated archbishop (Catholic World News, 2007-10-15)
  14.  African prelate consecrates married bishops, causing new schism Catholic World News
  15. Vatican says Archbishop Milingo, four others incur excommunication Catholic World News
  16. Text in English of the declaration
  17. Usurpation of Ecclesiastical Functions and Delicts in their Exercise (Cann. 1378–1389)
  18. Canon 1405 §1 competent forum for episcopal penal cases.
  19. 19.0 19.1 IN LINGUA INGLESE Release by the Holy See's Press Office, 17 December 2009, retrieved 17 December 2009
  20. Vatican defrocks exorcist archbishop who married
  21. RAI: Gubudu Gubudu - 1995
  22. AFP: "Archbishop Milingo, healer and exorcist, to wed in New York", May 27, 2001
  24. Rebel priest publishes life story BBC
  25. Milingo, Emmanuel. Confessions of an Excommunicated Catholic. KOINE. ISBN 978-88-87509-83-0. 

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Emmanuel Milingo. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.