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Archbishop Milingo’s Dramatic Speech

The following article is based on the transcript of the talk Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo gave to the Second Bishops’ Conference on World Peace in Mexico City, on Sunday, November 13, 1994.

Archbishop Milingo, former Ordinary of Lusaka, Zambia, now holds a high position in the Vatican itself. He has been living and working in Rome for over 10 years. He is not only one of the youngest men ever to be appointed Archbishop (at the age of 39) he has had vast experience in many different aspects of Catholic Church life.

Over 1,000,000 people have been personally inspired or touched by one or another of the Archbishop’s apostolic works. Widely traveled, he came to the Bishops’ Conference from the Vatican after a stopover of several days in Japan.

In one of the most electrifying presentations by the bishops present at the Conference, Archbishop Milingo gives us a living example of a true shepherd willing to fearlessly defend our true Catholic Faith.

by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo


Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo shaking hands with Pope John Paul II.

High Level Interference

Let us be very honest. The Fatima responsibility of the consecration is not in the hands of the bishops. It would happen instantly if the order to do it came from the Pope. The bishops would be there. If some objected, I’m quite sure it would not be many because the Marian Movement on the whole is suddenly having a lot of impact in the Church. I myself have witnessed twenty thousand people gathering in traditional processions. Thousands of people come.

Thousands Write The Pope

I also have received thousands of letters that were addressed to the Pope for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I myself have brought from my office directly to the Secretariat of State many, many, many of these letters since 1991.

Letters still come from all over the world asking for this consecration. I send them myself to the Secretariat of State. I am quite certain that is where they are stopped.

Abuse of "Obedience"

I really do not blame the bishops. If some resist, they are just a few. And letters like this (holding up a letter against the Fatima Peace Conference signed by a Secretary of State official) will make some of the bishops have no courage. They are unable to participate at a conference like this one.

But on the other hand, this letter from the Nuncio telling us not to come to this Conference shows, as a matter of fact, how one can misunderstand obedience. This says to those who came here, you were disobedient because an official letter told you not to come.

Then people tremble in their trousers. What a pity! It is a humiliation to a human being who is an apostle, a humiliation - intended to prevent him from fulfilling his duties according to his own personality and character. Because of a letter like this such a one will not come to this Conference.

It is sad. It is humiliating. It lowers the dignity of a human being to have a letter like this going around that actually prevents someone from coming to a conference for Our Lady. Meanwhile you have been chosen to be bishops to bear the responsibilities in your own dioceses. There you have got someone suspending your authority in carrying out all your duties and fulfilling your responsibilities.

Suspension of Authority

It is clear that they are living under suspended authority. No letter such as this should be able to affect how we govern in our own dioceses. Coming here to the Conference does not at all affect my policy in my diocese and does not at all touch my relation with the Church as a whole. I am going to a meeting. I go to other meetings, not only meetings about Fatima.

I go to different meetings, so why should I be controlled when I actually come to a meeting like this one. This is a great humiliation, as far as I am concerned, to circulate a letter like this to the bishops and actually pressure the bishops into not coming.

I came here purposely. Yes, purposely. I wrote back to the Secretary of State to say please will you send me a letter and let me have the permission that is needed. They wrote again. One letter had three signatures. I told my secretary; let them know I am going to the Fatima Peace Conference!

I Am an Apostle

Evidently, I’ll be able myself to answer them very, very clearly because I am responsible for what I’m doing. I am not one whose authority is suspended. Not at all; I am an apostle. That means I accept full responsibility for what I’m doing.

If this letter represents their way to control us, it means that they don’t trust the people to whom they have given authority.

And that doesn’t do at all! That is not at all correct.

I Will Tell the Holy Father Myself

Therefore, I am very happy to take this letter signed by the Papal Nuncio to the Holy Father. I’ll be very open to him about it, because I have already gone this route.

I’ll tell the Holy Father in writing. I will find channels through which to reach him and send this. I will explain about this, that I have been there, but I take full responsibility for coming here and I accept the consequences.

And I can assure you there will be no consequences. I will say if you have bishops who cannot carry out the message of Fatima, let we who are in the field, who do not have dioceses but have the people, have a chance. We may not be able to have a great influence on having the Consecration done tomorrow but we will be able to tell the people the demands of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

We are able to do that, to the last degree. We know how to present it and we continue to present it. Ours is not just a diocese, it’s the world, and we do have thousands and thousands of people that we deal with. Therefore, with regards to the message of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we have occasions, we have opportunity, we are able to give that.

Catholics Being Swept Away

Basically I’d like to insist on this: that each and every one of us in this world must become evangelizers. The Kingdom of God demands violence, Pope Paul VI said already everyone must become an evangelizer. We are unable to make this happen.

That is why thousands of people, like in Zimbabwe, who have just come into the Church, now are going to evangelical groups. We have got in Italy a second religion, the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Imagine that! And in France, Moslems, and so on. Why?

Because our own people are fixed in certain stages such as Baptism, Marriage, First Communion and so on. But in between there is nothing to fill in. Therefore, they are swept away by so many other doctrines that come in. Consequently we find that they become victims.

Why? Because we are never able to make them disciples. Nevertheless, Jesus came to make disciples.

Standing on Your Own Feet

Not one of us will go to Heaven without holding a brother, a sister. Each and every one of us must step out of the crowd and stand on one’s own feet strong enough to be a Christian, able to give testimony for that Christianity.

I know a man who was praying one day and the priest was confessing him — the power of the presence of God was shaking the priest even in the confessional. Imagine how powerfully God manifested Himself on that particular occasion!

We are acting as if this Catholic Faith were a private affair. This is not true at all. There is a lot still to be done even if the opening for the Consecration to be done is not yet there. Nevertheless, I think we can still go very, very far if we make each and every one of our Catholics concerned with the whole welfare of the world.

The world must be saved and it must be saved through each one of us. 


To reach Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, write him at his office: 
The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants, Piazza S. Calisto No. l6, 00l53 Rome, Italy.