SA anxious on news of Tutu's surgical procedure

2016-09-07 17:11
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (Dennis Farrell, AP)

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (Dennis Farrell, AP)

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Cape Town - September 7 is a special day for Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu - and not just because a surgical procedure might tell his doctors why he keeps getting the infection that has been dogging him for the past few years.

It also marks 30 years since he became the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of the Province of Southern Africa - the first black person to hold the position.

According to SA History Online, more than 100 000 people gathered in his honour for the Eucharist held at the Goodwood Stadium.

Remembering the occasion in a church newsletter, the current Archbishop Thabo Makgopa said he visited Tutu at the weekend and found him in good spirits.

"Please keep him, Mrs Leah Tutu, and their family in your prayers," wrote Makgopa.

Tutu admitted himself to hospital last week after a recurring infection came back. "The Arch", as he is affectionately known, has beaten tuberculosis and prostate cancer in the past.

'Human sexuality'

Tutu officially retired in 1996, but has not slowed down, adding his voice to a wide range of pressing issues.

His youngest child, who followed in his footsteps to become the Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu, has forced the Anglican Church to re-examine its policy on same-sex relationships after it emerged that she could not preach anymore after she married a woman.

Following her marriage to Professor Marceline Tutu van Furth she had to give up her licence to preach.

As a result of the controversy, a motion was tabled by the Diocese of Saldanha Bay, proposing the provision of pastoral care for those who identified themselves as part of the LGBTI community.

"More controversially, the motion also proposes that clergy who identify as LGBTI and are in legal same-sex civil unions should be licenced to minister in our parishes," said Makgoba in March.

The discussion on "human sexuality" is expected to take place at a special church meeting.

Meanwhile, word on Tutu's condition after the surgery was eagerly awaited.

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