Bishop Desmond Tutu RIP | CII


Bishop Desmond Tutu

Source: VN / WCC / SABC

Tributes and messages of condolence poured in from around the world, following the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a former anti-apartheid activist. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town died this Sunday, December 26 at the age of 90.

Contemporary of the late President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Tutu was one of the driving forces behind the movement to end the policy of segregation and racial discrimination applied in South Africa for more than 40 years until 1991. After his Coming to power in the early 1990s, President Mandela appointed him to head the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up to investigate crimes committed during the apartheid era.

In the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis attributes to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, among others, an inspiration for his encyclical (see paragraph 286). Tutu has always firmly believed in the African philosophy of Ubuntu, based on a culture of sharing, openness, mutual dependence, dialogue and interpersonal encounter.

In a telegram sent to Archbishop Peter Wells, apostolic nuncio in South Africa and signed by Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the Pope said he was saddened to learn of the archbishop’s death.

Pope Francis also paid homage to his service of the gospel through the “promotion of racial equality and reconciliation in his native South Africa”. In the message, the Pope invokes “the divine blessings of peace and consolation from the Lord” on all those who mourn the passing of Archbishop Tutu.

The Southern African Bishops’ Conference conveyed its condolences to “Mrs. Leah Tutu, the family and the Anglican Church on the passing of the Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, Desmond Mpilo Tutu”.

“The Archbishop will be remembered for his immense spiritual contribution to the liberation and democracy of South Africa, which is why he was a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. His quest for justice continued when he was president of Truth and Reconciliation. Commission and beyond. “

The Acting General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Reverend Prof Dr Ioan Sauca said Archbishop Tutu was a steadfast contributor to the ecumenical movement during times of joy and great challenge, and taught us to all the value of perseverance. “We thank God for giving us Archbishop Tutu for 90 years,” Sauca said. “Through his life and works he has become an image of dignity and freedom for all human beings and has inspired many people to use their gifts and talents in the service of others and of the mission and prophetic task of the church.

Reverend Frank Chikane, moderator of the Churches’ Commission on International Affairs of the WCC, paid tribute to his counterpart in the struggle against apartheid: “In Archbishop Desmond Tutu, we have lost a great prophet of God who has lived among us and stood up for justice – God’s justice for all – here in South Africa, on the African continent and around the world, including against injustices committed against Palestinians in Israel-Palestine, wherever others would not dare. We thank God for his prophetic witness which is worth celebrating nationally and internationally.

Besides being a powerful and direct voice against injustice, Tutu was also a prophet of forgiveness. In his role as chairman of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he has become, as former WCC anti-racism program chief Baldwin Sjollema recalls, “the pastor of the nation”. Tutu has repeatedly emphasized that there can be no future without forgiveness. “You can only be human in a human society. If you live with hatred in your heart, you dehumanize yourself not only yourself, but your community as well,” Tutu said.

“At that time, Desmond had to be careful not to be too outspoken against the Pretoria regime so as not to burn his bridges at home,” he said. “But his attitude changed dramatically after his return to South Africa when he was appointed Dean of Johannesburg in 1975 and a year later Anglican Bishop of Lesotho, then Secretary General of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) and finally the first black archbishop of Cape Town (1987). “

The impact of Archbishop Tutu on the life of the ecumenical movement and on the work of the WCC has been instrumental.

Sauca added: “Today, with the passing of Desmond Mpilo Tutu, the world is much poorer. We join the South African people in mourning this pillar of resistance against apartheid. We join the Communion Anglican Church and to all members of the ecumenical community in mourning the Archbishop who has so long been a leading voice for the Christian faith in witnessing for justice instead of injustice and inclusion instead of exclusion . And we join with the Tutu family in mourning a father, grandfather and husband. “

Desmond Tutu’s beliefs and testimony in particular against racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia continue to inspire our efforts for a world free from these evils.

Sauca concluded: “We invite all member churches, ecumenical partners and all people of good will to celebrate a life well and faithfully lived in the service of God and of humanity, and to defend its heritage of constant solidarity with the people of God. marginalized communities of this world.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said in his tribute that “Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a prophet and a priest, a man of words and of action – a man who embodied the hope and joy which were the foundations of his life. Even in our deep sadness, we give thanks for a life so well lived. May he rest in peace and be resurrected in glory. “

Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, said in a statement: “One of the most striking images of the second half of the 20th century was Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela dancing in the courtroom at the end of the session of closing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission In Cape Town, Nelson Mandela asked his friend Desmond Tutu to chair the Commission.

“It was a bold and creative way to help a nation brutally divided between blacks and whites learn to live in glorious technicolor by facing the horrors of its past and putting the Christian imperative of forgiveness alongside the need for truth as the only way to achieve reconciliation.

“And Desmond Tutu was invited to chair it because this incredibly joyful little disciple of Jesus Christ was one of the few people in South Africa other than Nelson Mandela himself who could unite the nation and carry the trust of all.

“In that regard, he was a giant. The world itself feels a little smaller without him. His broad view of how the Christian faith shapes all of life has touched many hearts and changed many lives. The Anglican Church in particular gives thanks for one of its greatest saints. But Christians everywhere, and all people of good will, today will mourn the loss of someone who showed the world what following Jesus looks like and where it leads.

“Our prayers today go especially to his family and to our sisters and brothers in the Anglican Church of South Africa. When I go to my chapel this morning to celebrate the Eucharist on this St. Stephen’s Day, I can dance a little jig in gratitude in memory of this wonderful human being, may he rest in peace and be resuscitated in glory.

In a message this evening, the Queen said: “I am joined by the entire royal family in being deeply saddened by the news of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a man who has tirelessly defended human rights in South Africa and around the world. “


Tributes to the Tutu Legacy –

Tutu –

Keywords: Bishop Desmond Tutu, South Africa, Apartheid

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