Rumors About Milingo´s Exile and Exorcism Are Denied

He´s on Retreat in Castel Gandolfo, Say Acquaintances

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ROME, OCT. 3, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Emmanuel Milingo, the former archbishop who married in the Sun Myung Moon sect but later returned to the Catholic Church, is not in "exile" in Canada. Nor did he undergo a Hollywood-type exorcism in Fatima, say members of the religious congregations he helped create in Zambia.

For the time being, Milingo continues to live in Castel Gandolfo, in the house he moved into after leaving the Moon sect in August, according to report published Tuesday in the Roman daily Il Messagero.

Milingo began his "retreat for reflection and rest," as it has been described by his friends and spiritual assistants, on Aug. 8. It is not known how long the retreat will last.

The former archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, is living in the Urban College of Propaganda Fidei, a building next to the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Rome.

On Sept. 26, when the press claimed he was traveling in Canada, "exiled by the Pope," Milingo was meeting in the Rome area with seven nuns and two men religious, representing the 150 members of three congregations he founded. Those congregations are the Daughters of Jesus the Good Shepherd, Sisters of the Redeemer, and Brothers of St. John the Baptist.

One of the attendees said the archbishop was "lucid," though noticeably exhausted. The attendee linked the exhaustion to the pressures Milingo had faced from the Moon sect and the media.

Newspapers in several countries had reported that the archbishop was subjected to a spectacular exorcism in Fatima, Portugal. But Milingo´s friends denied this, saying he has not left Castel Gandolfo since his arrival there.

At present, Milingo´s future is unknown. He did tell the nuns and brothers: "I will not abandon you."

In the meantime, the charities he established in Zambia are being administered by the episcopate of that African country. One such charity, an organization called Pamp, has health centers, hospitals, and agricultural cooperatives, as well as social care and charity establishments.

A Milingo aide, Father Enrico Pepe, is now on Pamp´s administrative council, as is an official of the Institute for Works of Religion.