African Icon, Desmond Tutu, Dies At 90 - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Sunday, December 26, 2021

African Icon, Desmond Tutu, Dies At 90

Tutu


The Daily Crucible | Sunday, December 26, 2021

South African anti-apartheid hero and black nations' icon, Desmond Tutu, has died.

The Archbishop died on Sunday, aged 90, South Africa’s president, President Cyril Ramaphosa, disclosed this on Sunday morning.

“The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa,” the president said in a statement.

Also, the Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa mourned the passing of Desmond Tutu, describing him as  a deeply spiritual person who took God, God's purpose and God's creation deadly seriously.

Makgoba made this known in a statement, saying the Archbishop's should be celebrated by Christians and people of faith.

The statement reads in full: "It is with great sadness that I have to announce that our de arly beloved Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town – and the 1984 Nobel Peace laureate – Desmond Mpilo Tutu died a short while ago at the age of 90.

On behalf of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the whole faith community, and – I make bold to say – on behalf of millions across South Africa, Africa and the world, I extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Nomalizo Leah, to his son, Trevor Tamsanqa, and to his daughters, Thandeka, Nontombi and Mpho, and all of their families.

While we mourn his passing, as Christians and people of faith we must also celebrate the life of a deeply spiritual person whose alpha and omega – his starting point and his ending point – was his relationship with our Creator. He took God, God's purpose and God's creation deadly seriously. Prayer, the Scriptures and his ministry to the people God entrusted to his care were at the heart of his life.

He believed totally that each one of us is made in the image of God and ought to be treated as such by others. This belief was not reached through celebral contemplation; it arose from his faith and was held with a deeply-felt passion. He wanted every human being on earth to experience the freedom, the peace and the joy that all of us could enjoy if we truly respected one another as people created in the image of God.

Because he believed this, and because he worshipped God, he feared no one. He named wrong wherever he saw it and by whomever it was committed. He challenged the systems that demeaned humanity. He could unleash a righteous anger on those – especially the powerful – who inflicted suffering upon those the Bible calls “the least of these, my brothers (and sisters).” And when the perpetrators of evil experienced a true change of heart, he followed the example of his Lord and was willing to forgive.

Desmond Tutu's legacy is moral strength, moral courage and clarity. He felt with the people. In public and alone, he cried because he felt people's pain. And he laughed – no, not just laughed, he cackled with delight when he shared their joy.

In accordance with his instructions, the Church will plan his funeral and other memorial services with the generous support of the South African Government and the City of Cape Town. Details of these events, to be held under South Africa's Covid regulations, will be announced later.

In the meantime, let us prayerfully remember him by the epitaph he once chose for himself:

He laughed,

He cried,

He loved.

In the words of the prayer which his mentor and friend, Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, first composed, and he then adapted as he extended his ministry from South Africa to the world:

God bless our world

Guard our children

Guide our leaders

And give us peace

For Jesus Christ's sake. Amen

May Desmond Mpilo Tutu rest in peace and rise in glory.

God bless you."

Desmond Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for combatting white minority rule in his country.
Archbishop Tutu departs, bids Africans goodbye 

The first black Archbishop of Cape Town and bishop of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa), Tutu received many international accolades during his long and illustrious life, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984; the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999; the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

Initially trained as a teacher after leaving school, he began studying theology after having taught at a high school for three years and was ordained as a priest in 1960. He continued his studies in England, culminating in a Master of Theology degree in 1966.

In 1975 he was appointed Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg, the first black person to hold that position. From 1976 to 1978 he was Bishop of Lesotho, and in 1978 became the first black general secretary of the South African Council of Churches.

After the fall of apartheid, Tutu headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He retired as Archbishop of Cape Town in 1996 after serving in that capacity for 10 years, and was made emeritus Archbishop of Cape Town, an honorary title that is unusual in the Anglican church.

In 1997, Tutu was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent successful treatment in the US. He was readmitted to hospital at various times thereafter to address the cause of recurring infections. Nevertheless, he has remained in good spirits.

Tutu is survived by Leah. They met while at college, and shared four children.

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