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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Tuesday's Connector of the Day – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

December 10th, 2009
07:11 PM ET


Using diplomacy and peaceful campaigning, Tutu has spent a lifetime striving to make the world a better place.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/10/tutu.art.jpg caption="Archbishop Desmond Tutu healing the world spiritually and environmentally."]

Throughout the 70s and 80s he was a symbol of the anti-apartheid movement in his home country South Africa. The cleric was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, and became the first black head of the Anglican Church of South Africa.

Not always popular, he had many enemies during decades of racial turbulence, but his faith, and trust in the universal goodness of humanity, carried him through.

Tutu celebrated with the rest of South Africa when in 1994 the apartheid system was dismantled. Since then, he has had more freedom to spread his universal message of tolerance and optimism – the essential good of man, in the face of evil.

Tutu’s religious and moral code, and his high-profile status, placed him ideally to sit on the TRC – Truth and Reconciliation Commission – a body which eased South Africa in to its new democratic era, with a very simple concept: forgiveness granted in exchange for the truth.

Nowadays, Tutu’s attentions turn to the global community and he throws himself in to many active causes on the international stage.

And This week he is coming out with his new Children's Bible.

 Last week on Thursday Tutu announced he will retire from public life in October, when he turns 79 years old.  "Instead of growing old gracefully, at home with my family - reading and writing and praying and thinking - too much of my time has been spent at airports and in hotels," the Nobel laureate said in a statement. "The time has now come to slow down, to sip Rooibos tea with my beloved wife in the afternoons, to watch cricket, to travel to visit my children and grandchildren, rather than to conferences and conventions and university campuses," he said.

Send your questions for Archbishop Desmond Tutu her, and we’ll put a selection of them to him on Monday’s show.

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Mark Windsor

    I would like to hear what Archbishop Desmond Tutu's thoughts are on the Ugandan "Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009" and of the selection by the Diocese of Los Angeles of one of their two new suffigan bishops, Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspoo, who is an openly gay woman and has been in a committed relationship with another woman for 20 years.

    December 10, 2009 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  2. Adrian Quinn

    I would like to know if the Archbishop is considering entering into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church given the recent extended invitation making it easier for Anglicans to do so.

    December 11, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  3. C. A. Boen

    Several African bishops have been inserting themselves into the Episcopal church in the U.S.A. especially in those congregations who have been wrestling with the church's belief that all people, including homosexuals, are God's children. (Please note that the congregations in question are located in wealthy communities-poorer ones have been ignored). What can the rest of us do to help, and can you help with theanti-homosexual stance of several African Anglican churches?

    December 11, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  4. vandana prasad

    sir, what are you doing to stop malpractices in catholic churches.and would you change your views regarding homosexuality and use of condoms.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  5. Solomon

    I want to know how often the Bishop reads the Bible and should we believe everything the Bible teaches? I would also be very grateful if the Bishop can enlighten us on the meaning of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  6. Michael Martz

    Sir, As a spiritual leader do you not have a moral imperative to push birth control and abstinence to both your flock and those that look to you for leadership? Surely the problems of Africa will only get worse if there is increased competition for scarce resources such as food and water by an exploding population.

    All other African problems fade in comparison to this HUGE problem, that creates all the other symptoms. The Chinese proved able to solve this, why can't Africa? What are you doing about it?

    December 11, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  7. Johan Depoorter

    Do you think that the Western countries should boycott Israël as they did with apartheid South Africa?
    Respectful greetings from Brussels.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  8. Tinashe

    I would like to ask a questions about 'double standards'.

    Given the recent TIGER WOODS scandal what bothered me is how so any people are willing to celebrate and pour over someone else's mistake yet FORGET that we all have the burden of sin. 'he without sin cast the first stone...'

    What is it about society makes us judge others so harshly yet not acknowledge the 'dirt' in our own yard? Will the human condition ever change? Why do we celebrate the downfall of others?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  9. Patrick

    My life is not well. But in my darkest hours I try to find compassion and caring for those whose journey is yet more arduous. That, for me, is the definition of humanity.

    To focus on the great travails of the world is, right now, too challenging for me. Mired in my own difficulties, I resign myself to being part of the silent masses that merely hope for better and rely on others to make that improvement a reality.

    Thus perspective is, at times like this, a very challenging thing. When one wonders how the mortgage will be paid or where the next meal will come from, global warming or the nuclear ambitions of a despot thousands of miles away seem strangely unimportant.

    How, sir, would you counsel me to be a good and caring global citizen?

    December 11, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  10. Jack DeBerry

    I would like to know if he could change one thing about America, whether a policy, law, custom, what would it be and why? And also what is the one thing that America does that he wishes the rest of the world would do. Thank you for your time. Take care and God Bless!

    December 11, 2009 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  11. Ward Whittaker

    Dear Sir, with crime and violence rising in South Africa and the standard of living for many not improving, many are saying that S.A has lost its one chance for serious reform and change, what would you like to have seen done differently since 94.

    December 11, 2009 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  12. Gold

    As a child, did you ever think you will one day fight for peace ?

    December 11, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Reply
  13. Gary

    Dear Archbishop Desmond Tutu, what causes us as a civilized world to want even more when we have more than enough and ignore our poor people and our planet? Do you think we don't realize that since the beginning of the industrial revolution we are choking our world to death?
    What could reverse this kind of reasoning? Thank you.

    December 12, 2009 at 12:21 am | Reply
  14. Anwar Hawk

    i would like to ask question Mr. Bishop about the child sex abuse in the Church by the priest. and organized way church hide/ignore and let the priest to continue abuse the child sexually. it is to me that priest are like the night time child sex abuser and day time angel. my question is when the priest are the criminal, then how come they could lead people to give the spiritual guidance when they themselve are spiritually empty. real spiritually guided people can't do the crime.

    is it not the time to ban the Vatican and all the churches because these are the criminal organization and church are the sacred place for the criminal. protestine break away from Vatican. so they are just one side to other of the same coin.
    can i call that Christian are not the true follower of the Jesus Christ? so they will go to the hell.

    December 12, 2009 at 12:46 am | Reply
  15. Brian Moorehouse

    Does the Bible support gay marriage?

    December 12, 2009 at 1:31 am | Reply
  16. shoshanna

    Dear Archbishop,
    Why did is climate change such a crucial issue to you, and how will it impact our country of africa? Is it truly important?

    December 12, 2009 at 5:44 am | Reply
  17. Ier Ichaver

    Dear Sir,

    What would you say to Africa's youth today? How do we work to address the issues of our continent?

    December 12, 2009 at 6:55 am | Reply
  18. Aisa de la Cruz

    I come from the Philippines, a largely Christian nation, that has an immense population problem. Is there any way our Church here adapt itself to the times and needs of our country?

    December 12, 2009 at 7:07 am | Reply
  19. Tammy

    Do you believe being an anti-semite is justifiable?

    December 12, 2009 at 8:22 am | Reply
  20. Joseph Chang

    Dear Archbishop Desmond Tutu,

    What do you think of these two revolutionary ideas?

    1) Do not shake hands to say peace be with you. Instead, just put your own palms together worshipfully and say beace be with you with a little bow and smile.

    2) Alternatively, do not say peace be with you but instead observe a minute of silence and meditate on peace.

    December 12, 2009 at 9:51 am | Reply
  21. Prof AB

    What do you think of South Africas new persident

    December 12, 2009 at 10:31 am | Reply
  22. Raoul Bermejo III

    One of my fears is that, with the many conflicts, atrocities and inhumane conditions going on in many areas of the world and now the climate problem, the global community may slowly slip into apathy. I am curious to learn from the Archbishop how he keeps going with his message of tolerance and optimism in the goodness of humanity. How do you keep yourself inspired?

    December 12, 2009 at 10:46 am | Reply
  23. andrew.makwaia


    December 12, 2009 at 10:50 am | Reply
  24. John Honeyben


    How can we be so sure that Jesus Christ is God when he clearly submits to his Father? Why would the Church teach Humanity to accept the notion of a schizophrenic God?

    Surely, if you say that Christ is both God and Man, then by worshipping him you are worshipping humanity as well as God, thus setting up an untenable position in regard to there only being One God who will brook no competition. This causes an unacceptable confusion, not made by God, but by Man. The early Church was Unitarian, so why has the Church made a Trinitarian confusion?

    Quite frankly, being unable to resolve this issue has kept me away from what I consider to be an erring Church for a long time. We should only worship God Almighty, and I'm sure Jesus Christ would teach that too.

    Thank you

    December 12, 2009 at 11:11 am | Reply
  25. Bjorn

    Dear Archbishop,
    How would you describe the situation for LGBT people in Africa today, and what do you do to improve it?

    December 12, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  26. Shane

    We are living in the civilised world.howcome Apartheid is still alive in Israel and Western democrasies support it ?

    December 14, 2009 at 7:31 am | Reply
  27. Pillar from Vienna,Austria

    Dear sir,what do you have to say about President Mugabe winning the head of his political party and wishing to come out for the next presidential election.

    December 14, 2009 at 8:11 am | Reply
  28. Danny

    Greeting your Grace,
    my question is what do you make of the homosexual issue with in the church , Do you feel it be good to be open to our homosexual brothers & Sisters in Christ Jesus Holy name ?

    I am from Connecticut usa

    July 26, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Reply

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