Nobel peace prize winner Desmond Tutu celebrated four decades of service as a bishop at a mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral and central Johannesburg today.
The service‚ held at St Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg‚ presided over by his close friend‚ Reverend Barney Pityana‚ saw a joyful Archbishop Tutu moving and singing during songs of worship and praise.
“I can barely put it better‚ I think‚ than the late President Nelson Mandela did when he paid tribute to Archbishop Desmond — sometimes strident‚ he said‚ often tender‚ never afraid and seldom without humour.
“Desmond Tutu’s voice will always be the voice of the voiceless‚” Pityana said during the service.
Archbishop Tutu‚ who served as Dean of St Mary’s prior to being appointed Bishop of Lesotho 40 years ago‚ said he was touched by the service and homily and thanked all who contributed to its success.
Tutu, a South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop was born on October 7, 1931. He rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid.
He was the first black Archbishop of Cape Town and bishop of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa).
Tutu’s admirers see him as a great man who, since the demise of apartheid, has been active in the defence of human rights and uses his high profile to campaign for the oppressed.
He has campaigned to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia.
He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984; the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999; the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. He has also compiled several books of his speeches and sayings.
Reverend Barney Pityana says in a time where the country faces moral decay, Tutu is a reminder of what it means to fight for justice.
“Archbishop Desmond was called to be bishop at a difficult time in the life of our church and nation. Upon becoming Dean of Johannesburg in 1975, he wrote to the Prime Minister B.J Vorster and declared the futility of the arrangements for entrenching and consolidating apartheid then underway.”
South Africans have been tweeting love and quotes to the incredible icon.
‘Tutu’s voice will always be the voice of the voiceless’: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s voice will alway… https://t.co/uh5eh5KU7A
— Farmpartner.ng (@farmpartner) July 10, 2016
Archbishop #DesmondTutu is being honoured for his 4 decades of work in the ministry, at the St Marys Cathedral JHB. He is a true SA icon
— René Vest (@ReneVest_) July 10, 2016
#Tutu Reverend Barney Pityana says Archbishop Desmond Tutu will always be the voice of the voiceless.
— POWER987News (@POWER987News) July 10, 2016
— Haya .m (@haya1812) July 10, 2016