Church of England bans daughter Desmond Tutu from leading funeral for same-sex marriage

Martin Kenyonwho passed away earlier this month at the age of 92, has left clear wishes for his goddaughter, Pastor Mpho Tutu van Furth, an Anglican priest, to conduct his funeral.

But a request from his family to hold a service at his local church in Shropshire, England was denied by the Diocese of Hereford. because the daughter of the Nobel Peace Prize winner is in a same-sex marriage.

In an interview with CNN, Tutu van Furth said Kenyon’s daughters had planned to hold a funeral at St. Michael and All Angels in the village of Wentnor, where he lived.

“His house in Shropshire is right next door and he’s been a member of that parish for 30 years,” she said of her godfather.

Same-sex weddings were recognized as legal in England and Wales in 2014, but the Church of England’s official stance is against it and its ministers cannot conduct or bless such ceremonies. .

In a statement sent to CNN, the Diocese of Hereford, where the church is based, said: “We acknowledge this is a difficult situation. The advice has been given in accordance with current guidance from the House of Commons. about same-sex marriage.”

Tutu van Furth was ordained to the Episcopal Church of the United States in Alexandria, Virginia in 2004. The Episcopal Church, like the Church of England, is part of the Anglican Communion, allowing its clergy to participate in the Anglican Communion. same-sex marriage.

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Tutu van Furth said she felt it was time for the Church of England to move with the times, but added: “The church moves at the speed of the church. I don’t know when enough people will be left out. before their grief or when enough people have suffered enough that the church changes. But there will come a time.”

Instead of entrusting the funeral arrangements to someone else, the Kenyon family chose to hold the funeral in a vicar’s garden next door.

Tutu van Furth told CNN: “The kids felt that it was more important to respect their father’s wishes for his funeral and so we held a beautiful funeral ceremony in a beautiful area. garden in the garden.

Kenyon, who was interviewed by CNN in December 2020, when he became one of the first people in the world to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, was once a close friend of Tutu van Furth’s late father.

Archbishop Tutu, who was ordained in the Anglican church in 1960, spent the 1960s and 1970s alternating between his native South Africa and London. That was the first time he met Kenyon.

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Tutu van Furth told CNN: “My parents came to London in 1962. My father came before my mother and my father and Martin became friends. Martin met my mother on a boat from South Africa and when I was born in 2005. 1963, my parents asked Martin to be my godfather.

“My mother said that it was Martin who was most responsible for making my parents feel at home in the UK. His personal statement is that he fed me my first meal – a spoonful of ginseng wine. ball!”

The decision to prevent Tutu van Furth from holding a church service was said to be “homophobic” by her wife, Marceline Tutu van Furth, a professor of pediatric infectious diseases in the Netherlands, where the couple was born. living.

In one An open letter to God published on LinkedInShe describes herself as an atheist who has received “a very warm welcome into this religious family.”
In the letter, she references a quote from her late father-in-law, who famously said that he won’t worship a homophobic godand added: “My request to you is: help those of the Church of England who are definitely homosexual to clear their minds and allow any cleric to marry anyone they respect and love.”

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