Pope laments death of 'servant of the Gospel' Archbishop Tutu
By Vatican News staff reporter
Pope Francis has sent his condolences to the family and loved ones of Archbishop Desmond Tutu who has died aged 90.
In a telegramme sent to Archbishop Peter B. Wells, Apostolic Nuncio in South Africa and signed by Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the Pope said he was saddened to learn of the Archbishop’s death.
Pope Francis also paid tribute to his service to the Gospel through the “promotion of racial equality and reconciliation in his native South Africa.”
In the telegramme, the Pope invoked “the divine blessings of peace and consolation of the Lord” upon all who mourn Archbishop Tutu's passing.
In a message posted on its website, the Southern African Bishops' Conference conveyed its condolences to "Mrs Leah Tutu, the family and the Anglican Church over the death of the Late Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, Desmond Mpilo Tutu."
The Archbishop, the message read, "will be remembered for his immense spiritual contribution to the liberation and democracy of South Africa, the reason for which he was a joint laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize. His quest for justice continued when he was the Chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and beyond."
The Anglican Archbishop was born near Johannesburg but spent most of his later life in Cape Town and led numerous marches and campaigns to oppose the policy of racial segregation and discrimination.
When apartheid came to an end in the early 1990’s and Nelson Mandela became president of the country, Archbishop Tutu was named chair of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
As well as winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Archbishop was awarded the Templeton Prize for his "life-long work in advancing spiritual principles such as love and forgiveness which has helped to liberate people around the world".