Anglican Church letting down LGBTI congregants: Tutu-van Furth

File: Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu-van Furth has been forced to give up her duties as a priest in South Africa's Anglican church after she married a woman. Photo: EPA / Nic Bothma

JOHANNESBURG - Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu-Van Furth says the Anglican Church's vote against blessing same-sex civil unions has sent a wrong message to the LGBTI community.

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa's Provincial Synod, its top decision-making body,  took this decision on Friday. 

READ: Anglican Church rejects 'prayers of blessing' for same-sex unions

Tutu-van Furth -- who was forced to relinquish her priesthood after she married a woman early this year -- said said on Saturday she was saddened by the Anglican Church’s decision not to bless same-sex civil unions.

“I am of course disappointed by the decisions but I don’t despair. I know that love and justice will prevail, maybe not at this moment but certainly in the future. Especially the Archbishop has said the conversation continues.”

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba had said he was pained by the decision and was aware of the pain it  would cause many members of the church.

Although same-sex marriages are legal in South Africa, the Anglican Church holds that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.

Tutu-van Furth, who is  Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's daughter, said: "Present reality is that there are young women in churches, in the township who need the ministry of the church. They are young men in congregation who need the ministry as the church. They are people who are exactly where Jesus would be on the margins of society, who need the ministry of the church. And what the church is saying right now is that no we don’t want to minister to you.”



She said there were many more people in the same position who were in need of the church.


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