On Sunday the world lost a living treasure when Desmond Tutu passed away. There have been several illuminating and touching tributes, and here are some links to explore in greater detail:
From the pavements of resistance in South Africa to the pulpits of the world’s great cathedrals and places of worship, and the prestigious setting of the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, the Arch distinguished himself as a non-sectarian, inclusive champion of universal human rights. —South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
Excerpt from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa's full tribute to Desmond Tutu.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu was entirely dedicated to serving his brothers and sisters for the greater common good. He was a true humanitarian and a committed advocate of human rights. His work for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was an inspiration for others around the world. With his passing away, we have lost a great man, who lived a truly meaningful life. He was devoted to the service of others, especially those who are least fortunate. I am convinced the best tribute we can pay him and keep his spirit alive is to do as he did and constantly look to see how we too can be of help to others.
Excerpt from Condolences in Response to the Death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu from His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Archbishop Welby said Tutu - "always known as Arch" - was "a prophet and priest, a man of words and action, one who embodied the hope and joy that were the foundations of his life". He added: "He was a man of extraordinary personal courage and bravery: when the police burst into Capetown Cathedral, he defied them by dancing down the aisle." Tutu's love "transformed the lives of politicians and priests, township dwellers and world leaders", he added, saying he was a pioneer and "a man of enormous vision". He also spoke of his "extraordinary, bubbly, overwhelming sense of humour", adding "you laughed the whole time when you met him".
Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell said "the world itself feels a little smaller without him". He said Tutu had been asked to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Cape Town as "one of the few people in South Africa other than Nelson Mandela himself, who could unite the nation and carry the trust of everyone. "In this respect, he was a giant," he added. The archbishop added that when he got to chapel this morning to celebrate Eucharist, he might "dance a little jig in thankful memory of this wonderful human being".
Excerpt from BBC's "Desmond Tutu: Queen leads UK tribute to archbishop"
From Mr. Meldrum's AP News article: "Asked once how he wanted to be remembered, [Tutu] told The Associated Press: 'He loved. He laughed. He cried. He was forgiven. He forgave. Greatly privileged.'"
Read the entirety of the AP News article by Andrew Meldrum here: "Desmond Tutu, South Africa's moral conscience, dies at 90".
Publisher's Weekly has a helpful reading list of books written by, or co-authored by, Desmond Tutu.
Cover photo credit: AP Photo - Themba Hadebe, File