LGBTI proposal for Anglicans ‘rattling the hinges’ – Mpho Tutu

Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu and Professor Marceline van Furth. (Supplied)
Cape Town – A proposal that would see a far warmer welcome for the LGBTI community and those in same-sex unions will go before decision-makers in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa next month.

The motion, tabled by the Diocese of Saldanha Bay, proposed the provision of pastoral care for those who identified themselves as part of this community.

“More controversially, the motion also proposes that clergy who identify as LGBTI and are in legal same-sex civil unions should be licensed to minister in our parishes,” said Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town.

“It also suggests that ‘prayers of blessing’ should be able to be offered for those in same-sex civil unions. However, it specifically rules out the possibility of marriage under church law.”

 It accepted that clerics unwilling to provide such pastoral care were not obliged to do so.

Reverend and theologian Mpho Tutu van Furth elicited condemnation from some Christians when she married her long-term partner Marceline van Furth late last year.

As a result, the daughter of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu can no longer preach in South Africa’s Anglican Churches and does not conduct table ministry.

She was asked on Thursday what she thought of the proposal going before the provincial synod next month.

“When I married my wife prejudice slammed a door of opportunity in my face. With this proposal we are ‘rattling the hinges’,” she replied succinctly in an email.

In July, she told News24 that she thought the Anglican Church had come “too far” to turn back on the issue of homosexuality.

“There’s a point at which we can’t turn around. That closet door has slammed so we can’t go back into that closet.”

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