The Anglican Church of Southern Africa has announced it will review the circumstances surrounding the same-sex marriage of the Rev. Canon Mpho Tutu and Prof. Marceline van Furth last week.
However, Archbishop Thabo Makoba told Anglican Ink it will do so according to the canons of the church and not pressure from the media
On 30 Dec 2015, Mpho Tutu, a priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, who is the youngest daughter of former Cape Town archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Desmond Tutu, announced that she had married Prof. van Furth in a civil ceremony in the Netherlands.
A second service has been scheduled for May in Cape Town, although Tutu is not a priest of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, which does not permit its clergy to enter into same-sex marriages. Gay wedding is legal in South Africa.
Asked what response the South African church had to the announcement, the Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba told Anglican Ink:
The issues that you raise will be addressed within our Province at a time appropriate to our processes, and we will communicate any responses we have to our own people first.
There is sometimes a tendency among our fellow Anglicans in other Provinces to use African Christians as proxies in their own culture wars and I don’t want to compound the problem by addressing the issues you raise in the first instance in the British and American church media.
Our Province has in the past sought and reached consensus on the issues that face us through a process of patient and respectful internal consultation and I wish to continue that tradition.
However, the newspaper said it learnt from the leaders of church in South African that the announcement of the marriage was problematic.
“Although Canon Tutu is not a member of the ACSA, the distinction between the Episcopal Church of the USA and the Anglican Church of South Africa would be lost on most readers,” the paper quoted a source as saying, saying its acceptance could been interpreted to mean the local church had shifted its position on the question of same-sex marriage.