Archbishop, Desmond Tutu’s daughter, Reverend Canon, Mpho Tutu-van Furth has reportedly been stripped of her duties as a priest in South Africa’s Anglican church following her marriage to her lesbian partner, Professor Marceline van Furth.
The reverend disclosed this to AFP today, May 24, 2016, adding that she is no longer allowed to preside over holy communion, weddings, baptisms or funerals after handing in her licence simply because the church does not recognise gay marriages.
Reverend Mpho also revealed that her father, the retired archbishop and celebrated anti-apartheid campaigner, Tutu, was “sad but not surprised” at the news.
Mpho stated in an email which read:
“The canon (law) of the South African Church states that marriage is between one man and one woman.
“After my marriage… the Bishop of Saldanha Bay was advised that he must revoke my licence. I offered to return my licence rather than require that he take it from me.”
Mpho and Marceline Tutu-van Furth have reportedly been on honeymoon on the Indonesian island of Bali, and had held a wedding party outside of Cape Town earlier in May.
Tutu, 84, who has reportedly been in frail health had been present at the celebrations with his wife which is not surprising as he has previously spoken out in favour of gay marriage.
The couple who are both divorced and have had kids, had gotten married in the Netherlands in December, 2015.
Speaking with the South African City Press Newspaper, Mpho said:
“My wife and I meet across almost every dimension of difference. Some of our differences are obvious; she is tall and white, I am black and vertically challenged.
“Ironically, coming from a past where difference was the instrument of division, it is our sameness that is now the cause of distress.”
Senior local priest at the Saldanha diocese, Bruce Jenneker told AFP that church had received Mpho’s licence with “sadness”, adding that “It was a great pity that it had to happen.”