South Africa-UK-Tutu

Tutu’s lesbian daughter barred from officiating at funeral in UK

APA-Cape Town (South Africa)

The Church of England has barred the daughter of South Africa’s late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu from officiating at her godfather’s funeral because of her involvement in a same-sex relationship, APA learnt here on Friday.

According to reports monitored here, Thursday's funeral of Martin Kenyon had to be moved from a church after the Church of England denied Mpho Tutu van Furth, an ordained priest in the Anglican church, permission to preside over the service. Kenyon died last week at the age of 92.  

Kenyon’s family were forced to relocate the funeral service from an Anglican church in Wentnor to a marquee in the grounds of the former vicarage next door in order to allow Tutu van Furth to preside in an unofficial capacity.

The Church of England allows its priests to be in same-sex relationships as long as they are celibate. It also does not conduct or bless same-sex marriages. 

The Church of England’s Diocese of Hereford defended its decision to bar Tutu van Furth from presiding over the funeral as being  “in line with the House of Bishops current guidance on same-sex marriage”.

“We acknowledge this is a difficult situation,” the church said.

The daughter of Desmond Tutu, himself a former Anglican archbishop in South Africa, is married to Marceline van Furth, a Dutch academic.

She was forced to give up working as a priest in South Africa in 2016 because the Anglican church there does not permit its clergy to be in same-sex marriages, although they have been legal in the country since 2006.


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