US President Joe Biden pays tribute after Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s death

World leaders paid tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu after his death at the age of 90.

US President Joe Biden praised the “courage and moral clarity” of the South African anti-apartheid activist, who died in Cape Town on Sunday.

Queen Elizabeth, Barack Obama and Pope Francis also paid tribute to Tutu, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending apartheid in South Africa.

“On this Christmas morning, we are heartbroken to learn of the passing of a true Servant of God and of the people, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa,” President Biden and the First Lady said, Jill Biden.

“We have been fortunate enough to spend time with him a number of times over the past few years. His courage and moral clarity helped inspire our commitment to change US policy toward the repressive apartheid regime in South Africa.

“We felt his warmth and joy when we visited him at the 2010 World Cup which celebrated the diversity and beauty of his beloved nation. And, just a few months ago, we joined the world in celebrating its 90th anniversary and reflecting on the power of its message of justice, equality, truth and reconciliation as we confront racism and violence. extremism in our time today.

“On behalf of the Biden family, we extend our deepest condolences to his wife Leah and their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. And on behalf of the people of the United States, we extend our deepest condolences to the people of South Africa who mourn the loss of one of their most important Founding Fathers.

“God bless Archbishop Desmond Tutu.”

Former US President Obama called Tutu a “mentor, friend and moral compass to me and to so many others.”

He said: “Universal Spirit, Archbishop Tutu was rooted in the struggle for liberation and justice in his own country, but also concerned about injustice everywhere.

“He has never lost his playful sense of humor and his willingness to find humanity in his opponents, and Michelle and I will be sorely missed.”

Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom remembered Tutu’s “great warmth and humor”. She said: “I am joined by the entire Royal Family in being deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a man who has tirelessly defended human rights in South Africa and around the world.

“The loss of Archbishop Tutu will be felt by the people of South Africa, and by so many in Britain, Northern Ireland and across the Commonwealth, where he was held in such high affection and esteem. “

The Vatican said Pope Francis was “saddened” to learn of Tutu’s death. “Aware of his service to the Gospel through the promotion of racial equality and reconciliation in his native South Africa, His Holiness recommends his soul to the loving mercy of Almighty God”, he said. declared.

US Vice President Kamala Harris said Tutu “has inspired millions of people, not only in South Africa but around the world, to stand with those who fight for freedom and justice.”

The Nelson Mandela Foundation said of Tutu: “His contributions to struggles against injustice, locally and globally, are matched only by the depth of his reflection on creating liberating futures for human societies. He was an extraordinary human being. A thinker. A chef. A shepherd.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Tutu “an imposing global person for peace and justice, the voice of the voiceless and an inspiration to people around the world.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “He was a critical figure in the fight against apartheid and in the struggle to create a new South Africa – and his spiritual leadership and irrepressible good humor will be remembered.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Tutu “an extraordinary leader who has joyfully dedicated his life to celebrating and advancing human dignity, justice and morality.”

Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town, said Tutu’s legacy was “moral strength, moral courage and clarity”.

“He felt with people. In public and alone, he cried because he felt people’s pain. And he laughed – no, not only laughed, he chuckled with joy when he shared their joy,” he said. he declares.

Update: December 27, 2021 7:39 a.m.


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Kevin E. Boling