- Reverend Frank Chikane told mourners that Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was worried about the future of South Africa.
- Chikane said Tutu was disappointed about what was happening in the country because he did not think it was what people had fought for.
- Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Johannesburg Bishop Dr Steve Moreo also said Tutu was demonised by white people within the church, including the Anglican church.
Before his death, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was worried about the future of South Africa, Reverend Frank Chikane told mourners at the Cathedral of St Mary the Virgin in Johannesburg on Thursday.
“He was stressed. He was disappointed about what was happening. He did not think this was what we struggled for. I had to plead with him not to worry,” Chikane recalled about their last encounter before the archbishop’s death.
He said he told Tutu that he was too old to worry and should leave it to the younger leaders.
“I promised him we would do whatever is necessary. We as South Africans must make sure this country doesn’t continue as…it is. I promised him that we will not rest until we have achieved the ideal society.”
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Chikane was speaking at a memorial service for Tutu which the Anglican church in Johannesburg and City of Joburg hosted after Tutu died over the weekend. He will be buried on Saturday in Cape Town.
According to Chikane, the former Bishop of Johannesburg and the first black dean of the Cathedral of St Mary the Virgin “fought the good fight; he has finished his race”.
Now, …the crown of righteousness that the lord, the righteous judge, will award to him on that day is waiting. I can imagine him getting the crown, jumping and laughing. While we mourn him, we have cause to celebrate this prophet of God who lived among us and served God. We must celebrate his life and ministry.
Chikane said the Covid-19 pandemic robbed the world of a real celebration of Tutu’s life.
“If it was not for the coronavirus, the whole body of Christ – the church – would be here to celebrate his life and listen to this epistle.”
He said Tutu’s secret to a good life was his unique form of spirituality and deep commitment to his faith.
“The Arch’s understanding of his faith was a holistic one that covered all aspects of life. No politician would tell him to stick to his lane. The first thing about his spirituality is that he took his faith and calling very seriously.
A clergyman walks past a portrait of South African anti-Apartheid icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu during an interfaith service in honour of him at St Albans Cathedral in Pretoria.
“The Arch’s God was also the God of all humanity. The word ‘all’ characterises his ministry because God is for us all. He said God is not a Christian because, for him, if God was a Christian, he would exclude those who were not Christian. Which means God would just be for Christians and not for all created beings. That is why racism and apartheid were incompatible with the gospel.”
Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Johannesburg Bishop Dr Steve Moreo said Tutu was demonised by white people within the church, including the Anglican church.
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“They gave him some labels; he was a priest who embarrassed the word of God. He was indeed a pastor who had to walk among many of those people.”
Moreo said Tutu took his message to everyone with great passion.
“There can be no excuse as we reflect on his legacy. Our calling must be, in this age, to bear testimony on his life and the legacy he lived as he completed his mission on Earth.”
Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse said the Cathedral of St Mary the Virgin’s history was closely tied to that of the municipality.
“It is clear that this cathedral is synonymous with challenging injustice. He stood here challenging the apartheid government of the time. He spoke life into this nation, bringing rebuke where it was needed, teaching where teaching was needed.”
Phalatse described Tutu as a global peace icon.
“He chose forgiveness instead of bloodshed… an achievement that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize. He was a nation builder. He was a patriot – passionate to the end about the people of South Africa. One whose contribution to the reconstruction of this nation can never be forgotten.”
She add that the City would consider a proposal from the Anglican church to have the precinct around the cathedral named after Tutu.
Source by www.news24.com