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NETHERLANDS: Daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu Ties Knot with Woman Professor

NETHERLANDS: Daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu Ties Knot with Woman Professor
Rev. Canon Mpho Tutu weds Professor Marceline van Furth

By David W. Virtue DD
January 1, 2016

The Rev. Canon Mpho Tutu, the daughter of former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, tied the knot this week with Professor Marceline van Furth in the Netherlands.

According to Netherlands broadcaster Jeanette Chabalala of News24, the couple reportedly married in a private ceremony held in Oegstgeest in the Netherlands. The couple is set to celebrate their wedding in Cape Town in May.

Tutu is currently the executive director of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, while Furth is a professor in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Vrije University in Amsterdam, and holds the Desmond Tutu Chair in Medicine at the university.

It is the second marriage for both.

Canon Tutu, the youngest daughter of Desmond and Leah Tutu, was married to Joseph Burris. They had two daughters, Nyaniso and Onalenna. She and her then husband lived in Virginia.

She is an ordained Episcopal priest and also the executive director and founder of the Tutu Institute for Prayer and Pilgrimage, Chairperson Emeritus of the board of the Global AIDS Alliance, Chairperson of the Board of Advisors of the 911 Unity Walk, and a Trustee of Angola University.

In 2010, she wrote a book about human goodness together with her father. The book is called Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the Difference. It discusses the scientific basis for the belief that all humans are good by nature.

Her lesbian marriage stands in stark contrast to her parents, who recently renewed their wedding vows on the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary.

Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu -- fondly dubbed the Arch -- and his wife Leah celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows at St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town.

Canon Mpho Tutu presided over the part of the ceremony where the couple renewed their vows.

"Do you take Desmond as your lawfully wedded husband, for better or for worse?" she asked her mother, as she stifled her laughter. "For better and for better!" joked Leah as the couple broke out in giggles.

Tutu's successor as Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Njongonkulu Ndungane, was in attendance alongside Rev. Canon Professor Barney Pityana and the cathedral's Rev. Michael Weeder.

In 1978, Tutu was appointed general secretary of the South African Council of Churches, where he became vocal about unjust racial laws. In 1985, he was appointed the Bishop of Johannesburg, and in 1986, he was chosen Archbishop of Cape Town, the head of the Anglican Church in South Africa -- hence his affectionate nickname, "The Arch."

He was the first black person to hold the position, the highest in the South African Anglican Church. In 1987, he was also named the president of the All Africa Conference of Churches, a position he held until 1997.

Tutu used his position to call for equality and was a vociferous campaigner for human rights. In 1996, Nelson Mandela appointed him chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the body set up to investigate human rights violations during the apartheid.


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