Sexual Orientation Gets Desmond Tutu's Daughter Sanctioned By Church Of England12 months ago
The late Desmond Tutu’s daughter has been barred by the Church of England from leading a funeral because she is married to a woman.
Mpho Tutu van Furth is an Anglican priest in the Diocese of Washington DC and had been asked to officiate at the funeral of her late godfather, Martin Kenyon, in Shropshire on Thursday.
Ms Tutu van Furth told BBC News it “seemed really churlish and hurtful”.
The Diocese of Hereford said it was “a difficult situation”.
The Church of England does not permit its clergy to be in a same-sex marriage because its official teaching is that marriage is only between one man and one woman.
However, its sister Anglican church in the US, The Episcopal Church, does allow clergy to enter into gay marriages. a statement from the Diocese of Hereford said:
Advice was given in line with the House of Bishops current guidance on same-sex marriage.
After Mr Kenyon’s family was told of the Church’s decision, they moved the funeral service from St Michael and All Angels in Wentnor, near Bishops Castle, to a marquee in the vicarage next door so Ms Tutu van Furth could officiate and preach. Ms Tutu van Furth told BBC News:
It’s incredibly sad. It feels like a bureaucratic response with maybe a lack of compassion.
It seemed really churlish and hurtful. But as sad as that was, there was the joy of having a celebration of a person who could throw open the door to people who are sometimes excluded.
Mr Kenyon was close friends with the late South African Archbishop, Desmond Tutu.
Ms Tutu van Furth was forced to give up her right to officiate as a priest in South Africa after she married Marceline van Furth, a Dutch academic, in 2015.
Her father Desmond Tutu, who died in December 2021, campaigned in favour of gay rights and backed same-sex marriage.