Archbishop Desmond Tutu: Forgiveness is liberating

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: Forgiveness is liberating
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Archbishop Desmond Tutu is called the social conscience of South Africa. At The Cathedral of Saint Andrew Thursday the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate said the world is starving for good news.

"You write about the conflict and all of the awful things. But there are so many good things in the world," he said.

Along with Nelson Mandela, Tutu was a key figure in bringing down segregation that plagued South Africa. He chaired the committee on apartheid crimes. Forgiveness remains one of his favorite topics.

"You can forgive even when the perpetrator doesn't ask for forgiveness. You untie yourself. You free yourself from being the victim," he said.

Tutu, 80, said he's upset racism still exists in America. But he's encouraged by what he has seen.

"And yet, despite all of that, you have been able to produce a black man going into the White House," he said.

Tutu said his homeland is striving to be the "Rainbow Nation," and Hawaii can teach it a lesson.

"The diversity that you have, it's something that we long to have in South Africa," he said.

Tutu will appear at a number of events this weekend at the cathedral, including a lecture and a prayer service. He will preach at the church Sunday morning.

"His basic message is that as human beings we are made for goodness and made for each other. What I would like people to come away from these events with is that we have that same kind of calling," said The Very Rev. Walter Brownbridge, who invited Tutu to come to Hawaii.

If time permits, Tutu will bless the voyaging canoe Hokulea. This is his third trip to the islands.

"It is an idyllic place. It really is beautiful," he said, quickly adding, "Only Cape Town beats you."

After Hawaii, Tutu and his wife, Leah, will travel to Bali.

The archbishop's schedule consists of the following:

-An Evening with Archbishop Tutu, Friday, August 3, 2012 from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. at The Cathedral of Saint Andrew. Tickets for this event are $500 and $1,000 per person, the proceeds of which will be used to endow the Desmond Tutu Outreach Fund for community benefit ministries in Hawaii, such as The Cathedral of Saint Andrew's support of the Institute of Human Services. A reception for ticket holders will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The main program will feature a conversation with Archbishop Tutu and Leslie Wilcox, the president and CEO of PBS Hawaii. For ticket information, please call 534-2822, extension 577.

-Peggy Kai Lecture, Saturday, August 4, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at The Cathedral of Saint Andrew. Archbishop Tutu will give the Peggy Kai Lecture, which is supported by a generous gift from the trust of the late Peggy Kai. A program "Music of Reflection and Hope" will precede the Archbishop's talk. This event is open to the public. While all seats in The Cathedral are filled, guests will be accommodated either in the neighboring Tenney Theater, or on the grounds of The Cathedral. A live video-stream of the talk will be on-screen in Tenney Theater. An audio feed of Archbishop Tutu's lecture will be supplied to the grounds.

-Holy Eucharist, Sunday, August 5, 2012 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at The Cathedral of Saint Andrew. Archbishop Tutu will be the preacher at the Holy Eucharist service. The Right Reverend Robert L. Fitzpatrick, the Episcopal Bishop of Hawaii, will be the celebrant at the service. The public, and in particular all Episcopalians and members of the Anglican Communion, are invited to attend the Holy Eucharist Service.

-Interfaith Prayer Service, Sunday, August 5, 2012 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at The Cathedral of Saint Andrew. Archbishop Tutu will participate in an Interfaith Prayer Service, but is not scheduled to preach at this service. The leaders of many faiths and denominations that practice in Hawaii will join Archbishop Tutu at this service. The service will include special guest choirs, Kawaiolaonapukanileo, Kawaiaha'o Church Choir and Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus, soloists Georgine Stark, Malia Ka'ai-Barrett and Christopher Kelsey, along with the combined Cathedral choirs will sing this beautiful service. Guest director, Nola Nahulu, will lead the choirs in singing the Kamehameha IV Evening Service by Hawaii composer, John McCreary, and other Hawaiian sacred music. Cathedral Director of Music, John Robert Renke, will be the organist. The public is invited to attend the service.

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