Marceline and Mpho Tutu van Furt.

Getty Images/Lerato Maduna

  • The Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation has criticized the Church of England after it refused to allow the archbishop’s daughter, Mpho Tutu-Van Foert, to preside at her godfather’s funeral.
  • The foundation described it as a “smearing treatment”.
  • The Church of England prohibits LGBTQ clergy from marrying same-sex partners.

The Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation has slammed the Church of England after it banned the daughter of Archbishop Mpho Tutu-Van Foert from presiding at the funeral of her godfather Martin Kenyon.

The foundation described it as a “smearing treatment”.

“It is with deep dismay that the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation has learned of the callous treatment of Mpho Tutu-van Furt last week. Through the decision to ban Mpho Tutu-Van Furt from presiding over her godfather Martin’s funeral. Kenyon, the Church has once again taken a position that undermines the safety, dignity and worth of members of the LGBTQIA community and all people,” the foundation said in a statement.

Tutu-Van Voort was ordained in 2003 but was banned from working as an Anglican priest in South Africa after he married his wife Marceline Tutu van Voort in 2015. The Church of England bans LGBTQ clergy from marrying same-sex partners.

READ | ‘Hate the sin, not the sinner’: MJC under fire for ‘reckless’ fatwa on queer Muslims

The riff came after Tutu-Van Furt’s godfather specifically requested that she officiate at his funeral when the couple visited him in April. But after Kenyon’s death in London last week, the Church of England rejected it outright.

Kenyon, a longtime friend of Tutu, recently died in London at the age of 92.

Tutu-Van Furt told the BBC that it “seemed very rude and offensive”.

Archbishop Tutu was a fierce defender of the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community.

The Tutu Foundation said “Ark” maintained his own open activism in the Church of England and expressed his dismay and pain he felt towards the church over his daughter being stripped of her priestly license because of her decision to marry a man. she loved.

“One of the greatest difficulties for members of the LGBTQIA community is that their humanity is often most scrutinized in the most intimate parts of their lives – in families and religious communities, in marriage, in parenthood and in death. Instead of upholding the ‘golden rule’ that is central to all religions, we treat each other as we want to be treated,” the foundation said in a statement.

It adds that although this homophobia and discrimination has been eliminated to some extent, any degradation of human dignity must be strongly challenged.

“As the Tutu Legacy Foundation, we will continue to speak out, as does Arch, against any position that undermines the value and dignity of all people. That’s why we commented on the Muslim Judicial Council’s fatwa against homosexuality earlier this year; and why we cannot remain silent in the face of the bigoted position of the Church of England that people in same-sex marriages who love cannot fulfill their professional and sacred responsibilities.’

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