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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: Desmond Tutu

July 26th, 2010
08:21 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.

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. John d souza

    Its ok he is retiring. ask him to solve world problems if he true man of god. or else he is just talking all rubbish.

    July 26, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  2. George Kardouche

    Kindly ask Desmond Tutu his views on how best he would recommend solving the Israeli/Palestine problem equitably

    July 26, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  3. Elaine, Dublin

    How does Bishop Tutu feel about the political landscape in South Africa and the direction of his country? Was the World Cup South Africa's coming out party to the world?

    July 26, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  4. Mike B

    Archbishop Tutu,

    Do you think you will be remembered as an activist or a man of the cloth? Is the difference important?

    Thanks CNN

    July 26, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Reply
  5. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Desmond Mpilo Tutu and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Desmond Mpilo Tutu on the following questions:

    – What is your opinion on the way GOD, Our Heavenly Father, is handling the Anglican Churches worldwide?

    – What is your opinion on the way GOD, Our Heavenly Father, is handling HIV/AIDS Awareness worldwide?

    – What is your opinion on the way GOD, Our Heavenly Father, is handling Heroin, Cocaine, Marihuana(Cannabis) and Prescription Drugs(medication) Addiction worldwide?

    – What is your opinion on Abortion and Euthanasia?

    I am awaiting Desmond Mpilo Tutu’s replies.

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    July 26, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  6. oliver wright

    Kindly Ask the archbishop; had he gone to university today would he have tried to ensure he gain a first class honours degree rather than a mere 2-2?

    July 26, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  7. Sanjiv & Rajiv & Mrs Sunila&Mr Romesh Nath Malhotra

    Dear Very Rt hon Desmond Tutu
    We 6 malhotras lived in Catholic Methodist church hostel 42 & 4 inverness terrace & Euston W2 london between 1990 & 1995 & were subject to abuse both physically 7 emotionally by David Holmes because of our etnicity 7 colur & religion-"HINDUISM" Indian & we studied i& taught in Private fee-paying grammer Irish catholic schoools st columba's & st john's & Army public schools in New Delhi -india & Rev Jack hughes walloped & canned my younger brother Rajiv malhotra & my mother Mrs Sunila 7 myself Sanjiv malhotra& broke his ear-drum & made him a stutter & stammer but we carried on suffering Irish & Black rascism & prejudice both in U.k. & India as we lived in silence & fear my father romesh nath malhotra was mowed down & rundown on bus 36 on praed street in 2001 in paddington st mary's hospital by yobs & hoodies& yardy hooligans gangs of Catholic jamaica & ireland & we work for the british Government labour paty in london & we are British citizens police-checked 1994 Data protection act
    The Her Royal Highnesss Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth windsor-ix is the "HEAD of The Anglican & Protestant & Catholic church & commonwealth countries of the World & we 6 Malhotras sanjiv 7 rajiv & mrs sunila 7 Mr Romesh nath malhotra 7 mrs Jacqueline mitchell-Paternal grandmother take oath of alliegience to The Her Royal highness Elizabeth windsor-ix & are not treason against the crown & we as "HINDUS" have read the New testament the Holy Catholic & Anglican Bible in English as English is our 1st language
    Sanjiv & Rajiv 7 Mrs Sunila 7 mr Romesh Nath Malhotra& mrs Jacqueline Mitchell-Paternal Grandmother

    July 27, 2010 at 5:24 am | Reply
  8. Andrés

    Hello CNN and Desmond Tutu.
    This is my question:

    What is the current outlook in terms of racial tensions in South Africa and what is the role of the white minority in the country?


    Andrés from San Jose, Costa Rica

    July 27, 2010 at 6:26 am | Reply
  9. Francis Ngabirano

    Archbishop Tutu,

    Have you had time to go back to Haiti to visit and bring hope to them like last you visited.

    July 27, 2010 at 7:58 am | Reply
  10. Sarah H

    How best would you advise for one to settle differences both politically and in the home?

    July 27, 2010 at 8:46 am | Reply
  11. Taline Ekizian

    "Do you believe, Mr. Tutu, that you did make the world a better place?"

    Thank you
    Taline Ekizian
    Beirut, Lebanon

    July 27, 2010 at 9:04 am | Reply
  12. Silang Emmanuel Sanda

    I wish to ask Archbishop Desmond Tutu: Being a man of God you has never compromise biblical standards and belief in God Almighty with the damaging effects and the by-products of modernization in the 21st century. In October, you will departing from public life. When you look at the authorities and the youths of South Africa, what legacy do you bequeath to the future of the Rainbow Nation, given the growing xenophobia, moral and social decay with the collapsed of parenthood?

    Tripoli, Libya

    July 27, 2010 at 10:34 am | Reply

    Please Ask him this question corrected of typo

    Dear Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
    Being a man of God you have never compromised biblical standards and belief in God Almighty with the damaging effects and the by-products of world's modernization in the 21st century. In October, you will be leaving public life. When you look at the authority and the youths of South Africa, what legacy do you bequeath to the future of the Rainbow Nation, given the growing xenophobia, moral and social decay with the collapsing standards of parenthood?

    Tripoli, Libya

    July 27, 2010 at 10:46 am | Reply
  14. Vusi

    My question to Mr. Tutu is, why does he now think that the USA is an ally to our people despite the fact that it worked with the evil apartheid south Africa to keep Africans under virtual slavery and listed President Mandela as a terrorist simply because he was fighting the racist settlers from Europe occupying south Africa in order to free our people from an entity that was worse than hither Germany and other Europeans oppressors of that time.

    July 27, 2010 at 10:57 am | Reply
  15. Thabo

    Mr Tutu, why are you so close to the USA despite the fact that the USA is the enemy of the African people? are you getting money from the USA?

    July 27, 2010 at 11:01 am | Reply
  16. Kweku Afriyie Ghana

    What would you say about God to the world if everybody was listening? Stay blessed.

    July 27, 2010 at 11:45 am | Reply
  17. naijadiva

    Good evening sir. Why is it that we Africans do not love one another the way God commanded. Are we not supposed to be one? Why do we have to obtain visa to travel within the continent and why do Nollywood stars have to pay $1000 to appear in Gollywood movies? Why why why (sobbing)

    July 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  18. Mandla L. Nkosi

    Can you kindly ask the Arch; What has changed his views about President Jacob Zuma, as in Sunday Times he was quoted as saying 'let's give him a chance', after being very critical of him (Jacob Zuma) before he became the President?

    July 27, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  19. williams

    what would be your next challenge,or is the world now a better place that you want to retire

    July 27, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  20. nomsa

    Mr Tutu would you say now that you want to retire you have achieved all that you have struggled for?

    July 27, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  21. Karl

    My question to Mr. Tutu is How did he fell, when in Fébruary 2006, during his staying at the Montana Hotel, in Haïti, he saw this big crowd coming. Was he afraid, did he expect to calm the crowd. Would he be ready to live such experience again?

    July 27, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  22. LevionTabona

    Mr. Tutu, what do you think is the best way to (stop ) or manage corruption (especially amongst some civil servants) for the benefit of the poor of the poorest in your country?

    July 27, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  23. Danuel Mudoola

    I would like to congraculate Rtd Bishop Desmond Tutu for a wonderful job done especailliy in preaching the values of torolence and optimism but more importantly his work in bridging the gap between the white and blacks in South Africa.

    My question to the Bishop: With your decision to get out of public life, will be available for consulation to adress the new and emerging form of apartheid in South Africa.

    What is your opinion on land re-distribution in South Africa in view of Africans who were forced off and away from there traditional land.

    July 27, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  24. koleosho Olayinka

    if you ll be retiring from public life.what is the legacy or footprint you intend leaving behind for the blacks especially the violent south Africans.

    July 27, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  25. Eddy Maya

    Do you think that church and state, religion and politics can really be seperate? If NO, what was Jesus precidence and that of first century christians? Was it not Neutrality or were they political activists cum social reformers?

    July 27, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  26. Alexandra

    I kindly would like to ask Mr. Tutu if he knows about the 3000 white farmers killed since 1994 in a clear genocide attempt and project of land retribution? And if YES, why doesnt he take attitude against? Thank you

    July 27, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  27. Elizabeth Fabian

    Dear archbishop Desmond Tutu,
    The message people who consider is homosexual are receiving from the means of comunication is To give free rein to what they feel. What is the right attitude people facing those feeling must have in accordance with God's wil?

    July 27, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  28. Eddy Maya

    Excluding Nelson Mandela Don"t You think the African Elders have failed the Youths of the continents? The massive corruption and decaying infrastructure along with pollution and battered environment caused by the pillaging of African resources has been actively carried out and supported by those born before now. Don't you think it is the elders that are to blame?

    Eddy Maya

    July 27, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  29. JUST:

    I just want to know: has Tutu always been honest to all people(s) and does he dare to say that by answering such a question ON CNN, and not through some personal e_mail_address, where to he w/c/should be able to write whatever he wants to make such person believe with no public answer to such public question. Why would or should I OR Anyone Else give an e_mail_address for the answering of a question Tutu w/c/should be answering to all people(s) equally and at just The Same TIme and in just ONE SOLE ANSWER? Has he or has he NOT been (EQUALLY) HONEST to all people(s) at any time in his life. Isn't that a question that w/c/should be answered PUBLICLY? I mean: he, not me, should be honest, about that, cos I am the one from whome he w/c/should expect to believe him on his word. Otherwise why ASK if I cannot believe him?! Why ASK if I cannot or shall not trust him?! It has to be a PUBLIC ANSWER EVERYBODY can live with!! That shall INCLUDE Sarah Palin too. So, has he or has he not been HONEST?

    July 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  30. Katherine Hagen

    Bravo for agreeing to co-chair the Hi-Level Commission on the Prevention of HIV(AIDS, but how does this relate to your announcement to withdraw from public life?

    July 27, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  31. BrasDan

    What are your thought about the current wave of anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States? Is it stoked by latent racisim?

    July 27, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  32. Isaac newton [ghana]

    I would like to ask arcbishop Tutu about the H i v aids in africa and whats he is doing about it

    July 27, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  33. Thomas Ayanwola

    How did you feel the day Nelson Mandela became the President of South Africa?

    What is your visions of a better South Africa?


    July 27, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  34. Sawubona

    Mr.Tutu, Racism is cruel reality millions of Africans face in the hands of Europeans on daily basis and that has been going on ever since they the Europeans brutally like sub-animals enslaved Africans, there is no doubt that the victims of racism are Browns the one that were imposed the name black by pink people and the culprits are pink people the one that choose the name white for themselves to appear nice in the world eyes despite the fact their skin colour has a name which is far from being white, it is important to also note that racism is what drove Europeans to do to Africa all the horrible and inhuman crimes they did to us, faced with that evil reality why is that you are so friends with our traditional enemies and the biggest threat to our survival and well being?

    July 27, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  35. chukwuma

    I would like to ask ask bishop tutu what the catholic church even the pope isdoing about our chaplet(rosary), because is it now a thing of fashion for people now and it wrong.

    July 27, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  36. Shahidul Islam

    Mr.Tutu,Do u think that Obama & Bush are the same in their every actions only difference in shape?
    I pray ur long life. Thanks.
    Shahidul islam,sylhet,Bangladesh.

    July 28, 2010 at 6:26 am | Reply
  37. robert conlon moore

    attn please, archbishop tutu, recently i have started to promote my bel
    -ief that diamonds and gold should not be used as a sign of friends-
    hip and love, i believe it would be much better to promote the use of
    certificates completed in the old writing of calligraphy combined with
    beautiful art work for borders.here in america the average engagement ring costs 5000 DOLLARS IF I PAID one thousand for
    a certificate and then gave 500 dollars to a poor mining town in any
    poor community i believe my marriage would be more blessed.and
    these mining towns would be better of. i hope you get to read this
    yours, robert conlon moore, rcmkingfish@yahoo.com.
    a worker for a better future. retire but consider promotint this idea.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  38. Dr B

    Do you think that the Catholic Church has become outdated especially in the area of having married priests? And to what degree do you think the Anglican Church has problems with "sick" priests as we have seen with the Catholic Church. Lastly, to what degree do you believe that homosexuality is devils work?

    July 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  39. Lynn Charney Finger

    This note is to inform you that your friend, Manita Finger, died this morning in New York City. Please pray for her.

    Please contact me for more information.

    Thank you,
    Lynn Finger (Manita's sister-in-law) LMCharney2@aol.com

    September 24, 2010 at 1:37 am | Reply

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