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Tutu’s daughter banned from funeral role for gay marriage


LONDON — The daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been banned from officiating at a funeral at a church in England because she is married to a woman, the BBC reported on Friday.

Mpho Tutu van Furth, who is an ordained Anglican priest in the United States, had been assigned to oversee the funeral of her godfather, Martin Kenyon.

The BBC reported that the Church of England had decided it could not conduct the service in a church. The Diocese of Hereford told the broadcaster that “advice has been given in accordance with current guidance from the House of Bishops on same-sex marriage.”

The global Anglican Communion is divided on same-sex marriage. The Church of England only allows its clergy to be in same-sex unions if they are celibate. The American Episcopal Church allows clergy to preside over and perform same-sex marriages.

Tutu van Furth told the BBC that the Church of England’s decision “seemed really rude and hurtful”.

The BBC said that due to the ruling church, Thursday’s funeral was moved from St. Michael and All Angels Church in the village of Wentnor to a nearby outdoor marquee so that Tutu van Furth could preside over it. .

Kenyon, who died on September 7 at the age of 92, was a longtime friend of Desmond Tutu. The South African anti-apartheid icon died in December, aged 90.

In 2020, Kenyon was one of the first people in the world to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and his real-life interview with CNN outside a London hospital has gone viral.

“I hope I don’t catch the damn bug now,” he said. “There’s no point in dying now when I’ve lived this long, is there?”

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