Former Lusaka Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo celebrated his first mass in Zambia from the time he was excommunicated by the Vatican two years ago at the weekend.
This was under his Married Priests Now movement.
The former prelate also held healing sessions during his visit to Zambia, which is expected to last five days.
The mass ceremony was an interdenominational service attended by married priests, priests from the Anglican Church, the Unification church and others.
Milingo spoke with vigor.
He was draped in typical catholic vestments and performed all the catholic rituals during mass.
His wife Maria Sung was in the audience and joined in the singing of local hymns.
Archbishop Milingo said he was enjoying marriage with Maria Sung.
The Vatican was shocked in 2001 when Milingo disappeared and pitched in New York during a mass wedding when he was marrying a 43-year-old Korean acupuncturist Maria Sung, chosen for him by the South Korean-born evangelist Sun Myung Moon.
Archbishop Milingo said priests who have been excommunicated from the Catholic Church should come out in the open and continue serving God.
“When a priest is ordained, he can never be made to lose his position just like when someone is baptised,” Archbishop Milingo said.
“The Catholic Church has been preaching is a lie. We cannot accept this anymore. We are not a sect as we are being referred to. The Catholics are abusing their authority. They cannot stop us by threatening us with excommunication,” he added.
Milingo emphasised that all priests who were excommunicated and attended his mass service were forgiven at that same moment.
Milingo said celibacy was not part of the church but simply an addition authored by some people who wanted to show prestige to priesthood.
Milingo can never be excommunicated. The Catholics cannot even face me because they have no evidence. I spoke to Jesus and the Lord told me that ni va chabe (It’s nonsense),” he said.
During the mass ceremony, Archbishop Milingo also blamed the wars and other invectives in the world to religious intolerance. This he said, was the reason why the Catholic Church should reconcile with the married priests.
Milingo said wars would not stop on earth once religions remained divided.
Milingo's mass ceremony was held at Masiye Inn motel in Lusaka.