The daughter of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu was barred from officiating a funeral in a Church of England because she is married to a woman.
Mpho Tutu van Furth, who is an ordained Anglican priest in the United States, had been asked to oversee the funeral of her godfather, Martin Kenyon but was barred from officiating duties by the Church of England.
The Church of England ruled against her leading the church service, with the Diocese of Hereford telling the BBC that “advice was given in line with the House of Bishops current guidance on same-sex marriage.”
Martin Kenyon went viral on the Internet in December 2020 for his answers during an interview with CNN as one of the first people to get a COVID-19 vaccine. He died at the age of 92 and was close friends with the late South African Archbishop, Desmond Tutu.
Mpho Tutu (left) with her wife Marceline van Furth.
Mpho was ordained in the US Episcopal Church in 2004, which is part of the Anglican Communion, where clergy members are allowed to enter same-sex marriages. However, the Anglican church in South Africa does not permit its clergy to be in same-sex marriages.
Mpho was forced to relinquish her right to officiate as a priest in South Africa after she married her partner Marceline van Furth in 2015.
Her father Desmond Tutu, who died in December last year, campaigned for gay rights and supported same-sex marriage.
In 2013, Tutu declared that he would “refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.”
“I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level,” Tutu said.
Church Of England Accused Of Homophobia
The Diocese of Hereford said in a statement published by CNN, “We acknowledge this is a difficult situation. Advice was given in line with the House of Bishops current guidance on same sex marriage.”
Marceline, a Dutch academic, accused the Church of England of homophobia, stating that her inability to do “something out of love for her godfather and for the family just because of the same-sex marriage” was upsetting, Voice of America reported.
Marceline criticised the Church of England for refusing her wife to fulfil Kenyon’s request. “She had to hand in her license and now this is the second time that I’m aware of, of course small things also happened, but that she can’t do something out of love for her godfather and for the family just because of the same-sex marriage and that’s something that upsets me,” she said.