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Pope Francis sends condolences for death of Desmond Tutu

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Pope Francis on Sunday sent his condolences for the death of retired Anglican Archbishop and anti-apartheid leader Desmond Tutu.

Tutu, who fought for an end to racial segregation in his native South Africa, died Dec. 26 at the age of 90.

“Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and he offers heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones,” said a note signed by Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

“Mindful of his service to the Gospel through the promotion of racial equality and reconciliation in his native South Africa, His Holiness commends his soul to the loving mercy of Almighty God,” the message continued. “Upon all who mourn his passing in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection, Pope Francis invokes the Divine blessings of peace and consolation in the Lord Jesus.”

Tutu, a contemporary of Nelson Mandela, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his efforts to end apartheid in his country.

In 1995, Mandela, then South Africa’s president, named Tutu president of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, responsible for gathering evidence of apartheid-era crimes.

The prominent Anglican retired from public life in 2010. In 2014 he voiced support for assisted suicide.

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