VATICAN CITY (CNS): Controversial Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo and four prelates he ordained without papal approval in September have placed themselves under automatic excommunication, the Vatican said.
Starting with his “attempted marriage” in 2001 until his September 24 ordinations of four bishops in Washington, Archbishop Milingo’s actions have led him to “a condition of irregularity and progressive breach in communion with the Church”, said a written statement by the Vatican press office.
A bishop who consecrates a bishop without a pontifical mandate and the person who receives the consecration from him automatically incur the penalty of excommunication.
The Vatican statement also said “the Church does not recognise nor does it intend to recognise in the future such ordinations and all the ordinations derived from them”.
The men the archbishop ordained, all of whom already claimed to have been ordained bishops in the Old Catholic Church, were leading figures the previous week in a “Married Priests Now!” convocation held by Archbishop Milingo in the United States.
Archbishop Milingo had told convocation participants that he was under Vatican orders to stop his campaign for married priests or face suspension from ministry.
At a September 27 press conference, Archbishop Milingo said he did not feel excommunicated.