Friday, October 13, 2006

Desmond Tutu expresses sadness at Anglican anti-gay stance

Desmond Tutu expresses sadness at Anglican anti-gay stance:
"Desmond Tutu expresses sadness at Anglican anti-gay stance -11/10/06

Archbishop Desmond Tutu says he has been saddened by his Anglican church's position about the ordination of gay priests, in his biography released in the United States and Europe on 7 October 2006, his 75th birthday – writes David Wanless for Ecumenical News International.

When he served as archbishop, Tutu was critical of the South African Anglican church policy to allow gay priests to minister in parishes as long as they remained celibate, but he was unable to change the approach. He also approved of blessing of gay and lesbian relationships for lay church members, but declined to call them marriages.

The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who gained the award in 1984, at the height of the struggle against apartheid, is also critical in the book of former South African president F.W. de Klerk for his failure to more fully admit accountability for apartheid atrocities.

World Council of Churches general secretary, the Rev Samuel Kobia, said in a congratulatory letter to Tutu on 6 October: 'You have challenged and pushed us never to adjust to the powers that are, but always to discern the signs of God's coming kingdom and to act accordingly.'

Dr Kobia added: 'Through your work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, you gave this fractured and broken world a model for overcoming the wounds of past evils and for creating space for healing and reconciliation.'

On visit to South Africa, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said his country had chosen Tutu for the Gandhi Peace Prize - India's highest international award. He made the announcement on 2 October, which commemorates the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

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