Ghanaian Anglican bishop blasts Tutu over gay support

(Photo: REUTERS/Paul Hackett)The former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town Desmond Tutu dances with the choir after he received the 2013 Templeton Prize at the Guildhall in central London on May 21, 2013. South African anti-apartheid campaigner Desmond Tutu won the 2013 Templeton Prize worth .7 million for helping inspire people around the world by promoting forgiveness and justice, organisers said.

The Anglican Archbishop of the Ashanti Region in Ghana, Yinkah Sarfo, has strongly condemned retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu over his comments that he preferred hell to a "homophobic" heaven.

"Archbishop Tutu is respected in the Anglican Church and around the world but this time he has misfired and all Anglican Bishops from Africa, Asia and South America condemn his statement in no uncertain terms," Sarfo told Ghana's Adom News.

Tutu joined with the Office Town on July 26 at the launch of Free & Equal, an unprecedented global public education campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality.

There was plenty of support for Tutu's stance, but he also came under fire from Christians who believe homosexual acts are a sin.

Three days later Pope Francis said gays should not be judged or marginalised and should be integrated into society, but he reaffirmed Church teaching against homosexual acts.

Pope Francis was speaking to reporters on a flight back from Brazil, he said: "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will who am I to judge him?"

Archbishop Tutu for his part stated that he would not worship a God who is homophobic, adding that, "I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven… I mean, I would much rather go to the other place [hell]."

Many African church leaders have strongly condemned homosexaul acts and strong opposition to homosexuality from the continent has stand against it has been at the forefront of a schism the 80-million strong Anglican Communion faces on this issue.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tutu likened gay rights to the civil rights battle for blacks and apartheid, saying: "I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid, for me, it is at the same level."

But speaking on Adom FM's News, Archbishop Sarfo said the comments by Bishop Tutu were his personal opinion but not the stand of the entire Anglican church.

He noted all the bishops and archbishops of the Anglican Church met in Mauritius recently and unanimously condemned those comments and dissociated themselves from it.

"We suspect that retired Archbishop Tutu may have collected some moneys from some of the western governments or from gay rights activists to do their bidding but the Anglican Church condemns gay practice," he said.

Archbishop Yinkah Sarfo said that in a few days the Anglican bishops of Africa, South America and Asia would come out and formally state their position on this matter.

He urged all members of the Anglican Church in Africa to remain steadfast because the church does not support gay practice and the leadership will make that clear in a few days.

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