Nobel laureate Archibishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on Sunday celebrated four decades of service as a bishop at a mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in central Johannesburg.
The service presided over by the Archibishop’s close friend, Reverend Barney Pityana was well attended by several dignitaries including former South African presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe.
The 84-year-old priest moved and sang as songs of worship and praise rang out during the service.
The Anglican Archbishop who served as Dean at St. Mary’s prior to his appointment as Bishop of Lesotho 40 years ago, said he was touched by the service and homily and thank all who contributed to its success.
“I was ordained deacon here (St. Mary’s Cathedral), I was made a priest here, and then I became Dean here, and I was consecrated here, and had my first consecration as Archbishop here” he’s quoted as saying by the Bdlive website.
He thanked the two former presidents who attended the service saying “I didn’t expect any of this and it’s a deeply touching thing that you should be here present.”
Archbishop Tutu became the first black archbishop of Cape Town where he was critical of the apartheid regime.
Since the end of apartheid in 1994, Desmond Tutu has campaigned for human rights. He has also campaigned to fight HIV/AIDS, racism, homophobia among others.