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News Forum - South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu, anti-apartheid champion, dies aged 90


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Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the anti-apartheid icon who championed human rights in his native South Africa has died at the age of 90. Announcing his death, President Cyril Ramaphosa described Tutu as a patriot without equal, according to an AFP report. “Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal; a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead. A man of extraordinary intellect, integrity, and invincibility against the forces of apartheid, he was also tender and vulnerable in his compassion for those who had suffered oppression, injustice, and violence under apartheid, and […]

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"However, he has also been a vocal critic of South Africa’s shortcomings and was not afraid to criticise the African National Congress, accusing it of nepotism. He has also slammed the Anglican Church, accusing it of homophobia, and took Mandela to task for allegedly paying generous salaries to politicians in his administration. More recently, he was a fierce critic of the corruption that grew under ex-leader Jacob Zuma."

I think Archbishop Tutu deserves wide praise for his actions in speaking out against the injustices and evils of the Apartheid system and the other evils of pre-modern day South Africa. No matter how you look at it, it was truly a horrible place and his voice, heard around the world, made ignoring it impossible. It would have been easy to keep quiet at the end of Apartheid and rest on his laurels, so it is doubly to his credit that he was brave and wise enough to keep at it and chide the modern leaders as well. The people of South Africa owe him a debt that can't be repaid.

However, I wish he had turned his moral indignation on his own Catholic Church as well. If he had been as vocal, eloquent and outspoken on the evils of child abuse/child molestation within the Catholic Church as he was on Apartheid and corruption, he would have been a living Saint.

I admire what he accomplished, but think he also left a large part undone.



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