Archbishop Tutu has Given Up his Church Job To Focus On Gay Marriage With An Atheist.
The daughter of Desmond Tutu has said giving up her job as a vicar to marry her girlfriend was “incredibly sad” for both him and her.
CREDIT: MANNIE GARCIA/REUTERS
Mpho Tutu van Furth practised as a vicar from January 2004 until she married Marceline van Furth, an atheist, in December 2015.
According to Onward Christian Radio, when Tutu van Furth heard that her diocese had decided to withdraw her license, she offered to return it herself, saying it was “slightly more dignified.” She’s still a priest in the United States-based Episcopal Church, where she was ordained in 2003. However, she admitted that relinquishing her South African priesthood made her feel as if a part of her was stripped away.
Speaking to the BBC Desmond Tutu’s daughter said:
“I knew when I married Marceline that there was a chance that I would have to give up my licence.
It was incredibly sad for me. A few years ago I celebrated the Eucharist with my father and so to now be in a position where I can’t serve at the altar with him – I was surprised by how much it hurt.
I think it has saddened him [Desmond] as well. It is has saddened him in as much as this is where the Church is now.
What is so absolute that we cannot pass beyond this point?
I have to think of all of the people for whom the choice was: I can be a priest or I can be with the person I love, and I don’t get to have both.”
Former Archbishop of South Africa’s daughter
The former Archbishop of South Africa’s daughter was previously married to a man and the couple had two children. Marceline van Furth was also married to a man and has two children.
Globally, the Anglican Communion is divided over the issue of same-sex marriage. In January, its archbishops imposed sanctions on the American branch of its organization, the Episcopal Church, for deciding to allow clergy to perform same-sex marriages.
Tutu van Furth hopes that her marriage will start a conversation within the South African Anglican church about how to serve the LGBTQ people who are sitting in its pews and speaking from its pulpits.
For inspiration, she turns to her dad:
“My dad has a real gift for being on the right side of an issue, not from the point of the argument of right and wrong, but from the point of caring for the people on the margins. Who is the least powerful one in this configuration? What is the most loving thing in any situation? That generally leads him in the right direction.”
Desmond Tutu has been a vocal campaigner against discrimination towards gay people, and has publicly supported gay clergy who do not remain celibate.-onwardchristianradio