Friday, September 23, 2022

Church bans Desmond Tutu's daughter from taking Shropshire funeral due to same-sex marriage

Yes, the Shropshire Star wins my Headline of the Day Award, but the judges felt it necessary to add a rider condemning the Church of England.

As the story below that headline explains:

The daughter of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been banned from officiating at a church funeral in Shropshire, because she is married to a woman.

Instead the family of Martin Kenyon will be holding the 'service' in the back garden of his country home in the south of the county.

The former army officer split his life between London and the county and his family had been hoping to hold his funeral in St Michael and All Angels at Lydbury North.

But his wish to see priest Mpho Tutu - daughter of his close friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his own god-daughter - conduct it in the church has been denied by the Church of England because she is in a same-sex marriage. ...

Mr Kenyon was friends with Desmond Tutu for 60 years after he looked after the South African archbishop when he arrived in London in the early 1960s to study.

Mpho Tutu told the Star of her reaction to the decision:

"I couldn't believe my ears. Our same-sex marriage is again a reason to hurt people for no reason.

"Martin’s daughters, grandchildren, friends, the Tutu family, and also my wife, Mpho, who are all mourning because of the death of their beloved Martin are being punished because she fell in love with me and dared to marry me

"I feel it is my time to speak up for my wife."

And the Star claims the Diocese of Hereford told it:

“We acknowledge this is a difficult situation. Advice was given in line with the House of Bishops current guidance osame-sexex marriage.”

Yes, I think it probably did.

1 comment:

David said...

I feel that this unfortunate situation is what has spilled over from a war between biblical fundamentalist orthodoxy and progressive rational theology in the Anglican church worldwide. In a Church of England riddled with "flying bishops" catering to minority extremist clerics and congregations, and global conflict between the Churches of Nigeria, South Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda and the Anglican Church of North America on the one hand and the Church of England, Church of Wales, Episcopal Church of Scotland and the Episcopal Church of the USA on the other, no doubt even if the vicar of Lydbury did not ban the funeral then others higher up the pecking order in Hereford Diocese might have done.
Desmond Tutu's daughter was an ordained Anglican cleric in South Africa, but ran into trouble over her (civil) marriage to her wife and gave up her licence to officiate in South Africa. It would appear that whilst she and other gay clergy are welcome in the Episcopal Church of the USA, the same cannot be said of Herefordshire - despite it being a family occasion.
If I were Theresa May I would give them a lecture about being "the nasty church". But this is a Liberal (Democrat) blog!