Tutu, Preparing to Retire, Gives Final Sermon
Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu said farewell to his vast African archdiocese Sunday with a plea for peace and a warning that crime, corruption and greed could destroy the democracy he helped bring to South Africa.
“The worst thing we can do for democracy and freedom is to become docile lap dogs,” he told a congregation of more than 7,000 people packed into Cape Town’s biggest exhibition hall.
Preaching his last sermon as head of the Anglican Church in southern Africa, he warned: “The worst thing we can do for our democratically elected leaders is to place them on a pedestal.”
Tutu, gray-haired and 64, retires at the end of June after 10 years as head of his church in South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and the island of St. Helena.
He has postponed plans to go to the U.S. to chair a two-year Truth and Reconciliation Commission that will try to unravel the human rights record of apartheid and reconcile victims with perpetrators.
“I am going to miss the people, I am going to miss their love, I am going to miss being their special father,” he said after the sermon.