Return to Transcripts main page
Remembering Desmond Tutu; Countries around the World Ring in 2022; Omicron Now the Dominant Variant in France; Putin's New Year's Address Focused on Pandemic. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired January 01, 2022 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, everyone. Thanks for joining us. I'm Michael Holmes.
We begin with a final farewell to Desmond Tutu, the archbishop who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role to end apartheid in South Africa. You are looking there at live pictures, where his funeral is getting underway.
His life will be celebrated from behind the pulpit where he once preached. David McKenzie joins me now.
Give us a sense of what kind of funeral this is. It is a state funeral, but it is different from most.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Michael. It is certainly a poignant day here in South Africa. The beautiful setting of St. George's Cathedral, which we see in live pictures. It is a state funeral but very different from the usual state funeral.
Desmond Tutu was very involved in his own funeral planning. He didn't want the presence of soldiers. Obviously as a man of peace. There will be an address, a eulogy. And you can see in the church the Anglican sermon is underway.
First a processional and then the traditional rites that would be expected for a man of the cloth. This church hugely significant to his life. He preached here in the anti-apartheid movement. It's known as the people's church.
I spoke to the head of one of his foundations about just why he made a personal connection with people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICLAS KJELLSTROM-MATSEKE, CHAIR, TUTU LEGACY FOUNDATION: Desmond Tutu could connect with anyone, with anyone. It could be a king or a president or with children, someone on the street that just bumps into him.
And that happened again and again and again. He got energy from it and he gave energy. The ability to connect with other human beings was probably one of the most profound great things with him. And because of that, I think the entire world feels that it's my archbishop. It's my Desmond Tutu.
And that is something profoundly beautiful. And that's why he is this grand, global icon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: And another reason he connected with people is just he was such a humble man. You see, in vision now, his coffin, a simple pine coffin. He requested that. On top of the coffin, a bouquet of carnations from his family.
Despite the Nobel Peace Prize, despite being lauded across the world, friend to presidents, to celebrities, this man wanted a simple funeral. And he's getting that here in South Africa.
HOLMES: David, you met the man. You spoke with him. I'm curious what your impressions were of him.
MCKENZIE: Well, I was a very young reporter. I think what genuinely shows what kind of person he was. I was about to interview him in East Africa quite some time ago. I was very intimidated by this man. And the producer said just talk to him about football, talk to him about sports and I did.
And he put my mind at rest and made me relaxed, even though I was just a young reporter, talking to this global legend.
And that's the kind of man he would -- he was. He would often, Michael, at these protest meetings, when very heavy matters were being discussed, particularly in the mid '80s, he would start with a joke, put everyone's mind at rest and then get into talking of how they would go into battle in a figurative sense against the apartheid police at the time.
He would be there out in the Cape Flats, here in Cape Town, wading into extremely volatile situations and try to defuse them. He was always brave and willing to speak his mind, no matter how unpopular it was at the time.
And I think that moral clarity is the moment everyone is commemorating that man today. He was deeply involved in politics and, after the transition to democracy, just a voice of reason and for human rights.
HOLMES: Yes. That is great insight and really a window into the man. David McKenzie there in Cape Town. We'll check in with you later.
Now Mondli Makhanya is joining me from Johannesburg, editor-in-chief of the South African newspaper "City Press."
I saw you quoted as saying he had a body of oak, the heart of an angel and the courage of a lion. Give us more of the sense of the man as his funeral begins.
MONDLI MAKHANYA, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "CITY PRESS": Well, I think, you know, you need to see Desmond Tutu during the days of apartheid. He stood up against the apartheid regimes and he stood up to them and he fought courageously.
But you know, at the same time, he also was a voice of conscience for the liberation movement, for the mass democratic movement in the country. He did not shy away from criticizing some of the actions that the liberation movement was doing.
For instance, a very famous incident; there was a thing called the necklace in South Africa at that particular point, where collaborators of the anti-apartheid regime would be burned with a tire around the person's neck.
And he spoke out and said, no, we cannot be the same as those people. When the ANC, which was the head of the liberation movement at that particular point, was bombing civilians, he said, no, we cannot be the same as the apartheid government.
So he was that person, that morality was at the center of his being. When South Africa became a democratic country, even when Nelson Mandela was in power, he did not shy away from criticizing the new government.
He did not shy away from criticizing Nelson Mandela himself and saying, no, you have to be higher. So he was that pinnacle of morality. And he remained a voice of conscience for democratic South Africa beyond apartheid days and remained a conscience for the international community.
HOLMES: Yes, absolutely. I'm sorry to interrupt. We have a slight delay. Some have said the archbishop wasn't happy with the state of the country, despite the changes that he led. There was a reverend who spoke in his sermon at Archbishop Tutu's requiem.
He said that he did not think this is what we struggled for.
What would you say Desmond Tutu still wanted to see done, in terms of equality and education, poverty and so on?
MAKHANYA: Well, the struggle was about democracy. It was about equality. It was about killing racial injustice. But it was also about economic progress. And what we have seen in post-apartheid South Africa is that it remains one of the most unequal countries in the world.
You have changes that have happened and an integration of society and a rise in wealth among both whites and Blacks. But a majority of the people remain mired in deep poverty.
And Tutu stood not just for a democracy to be achieved but a democracy that had economic justice. And what we saw, what he saw was that, once the new order came in, it did not bring in that economic justice that we all in this country had strived for in the -- during the days of the struggle.
And he was very unhappy about that. And he was unhappy about the past 10 years in particular. It was between 2009 and now, particularly between 2009 and 2018, when (INAUDIBLE) was in power. We saw a rise in corruption in the country.
And the corruption robbed a lot of South Africans of the ability to raise their standards of living and it was actually theft from the people. And he saw South Africa's sliding back into some of the ways of the past. And he spoke out very strongly against that.
HOLMES: I saw a bishop say that Desmond Tutu was -- I think the phrase was he was a few steps ahead of society, not just the church.
Would you agree with that?
MAKHANYA: Oh, definitely. You know, when it came to issues of morality and issues of public morality, issues of social justice, he, long before anybody else, spoke about LGBTQ rights. He was ahead of everybody else. And he spoke about the love of God for everybody.
When the church was not accepting people of different sexual orientations, Desmond Tutu was ahead of everyone. And he spoke and he said Jesus Christ loves everybody equally.
And the rest of society, whether you are in South Africa or anywhere in the world, people were not speaking in that voice at that particular point. So he was always ahead of everybody.
And when he spoke about social justice, he did not just speak about issues that affected the people of South Africa. He spoke about issues that affected everybody, whether Myanmar or Palestine or Ireland or anywhere. He spoke about the social justice for everybody in the world.
You know, there is one particular code that he had that, basically, that those who do not -- those who keep quiet in the face of oppression, are on the side of the oppressor, that you cannot be mutual in the face of oppression. And that was him.
HOLMES: Yes, yes, an extraordinary life, an extraordinary man. Thank you so much there in Johannesburg. Really appreciate the insight. Thank you.
MAKHANYA: Thank you.
HOLMES: Now coming up here on CNN NEWSROOM, the party atmosphere of yore is significantly diminished as the world rings in the new year.
Also president Vladimir Putin delivers his new year's address one day after he and the U.S. president exchanged warnings over Ukraine. We'll have the latest from Moscow when we come back. (MUSIC PLAYING)
HOLMES: All right. I want to take you back now to Cape Town, South Africa, for opening remarks at the funeral of Archbishop Tutu. Let's listen in.
REV. MICHAEL WEEDER, DEAN OF CAPE TOWN: -- a day before Bishop Michael Nuttall.
And so as we gather in this moment, I just want to remind you that we have (INAUDIBLE) of time.
WEEDER: And yet we still want to do this time of fond farewell and joyful celebration in a way that is trying to be expeditious, that we also give quality of time as we are present here as well.
So I ask every person who has a part in the liturgy, there where your name is anticipated, do come forward. And nobody will be calling you. You are familiar with where your name is in the liturgical script. So I ask that you be mindful of that.
I'm also cognizant of the multitudes that would have loved to have been here on this occasion. And so in their absence, we acknowledge them, wherever you are listening and viewing, that you will gain sustenance from this moment.
In conclusion, I want to remind us of this holiday. She could have been referencing Father Desmond when she sang that song, "Crazy, He Calls Me." (ph)
And she said, "Like the wind that shakes the bough, he moves me with a smile."
It's that Tutu smile from the heart of God, that one-love heart that calmed and focused those who saw it in person, in media, in the photographs and television. And we recognize that smile and remind us, the difficult I will right now but the impossible will take a little while.
And, so, as the archbishop reminded us, we live to the full because we are beautiful, because a child of God assured us, by his ways, that God loves us. So God be praised.
HOLMES: The reverend Michael Weeder there, the dean of Cape Town, with some opening remarks.
We're waiting to hear from the archbishop's daughter. The reverend Naomi Tutu is coming up.
Meanwhile, let's bring back David McKenzie. And, David, it is interesting. Archbishop Tutu, he often talked about
the rainbow coalition.
Was that fulfilled for him?
MCKENZIE: I don't think so. But it was always his life's work. He coined the term the rainbow nation. It was famously used after the first democratic election here in South Africa in 1994.
You remember those pictures of Desmond Tutu, as always, in his purple vestments, casting his ballot and then skipping away in joy. You had the dean of Cape Town speaking a little bit about that smile, that smile and that laugh of this man that touched so many. It was interesting. I was talking to the dean of Cape Town yesterday, Michael.
He spoke a bit about the church and the fact it was, as one of the oldest churches in South Africa, really part and parcel of the colonial area. But the Anglican church was a stalwart against the apartheid movements.
One of the reasons he said Desmond Tutu will be buried in the cathedral was because a previous archbishop said he refused to be buried in the whites only section of the cemetery here in South Africa That's how far apartheid went in this country, to separate even the dead.
So fitting that a man like Michael Weeder, who also came through the church as an activist --
MCKENZIE: -- is bringing those welcoming remarks for this great fighter for truth and justice. Michael?
HOLMES: You know, it was also something that Michael Weeder mentioned there, too, was that Desmond Tutu was not afraid to take on unpopular or impolitic topics as well. He spoke out for the Palestinian people. He criticized the leaders of Myanmar, spoke about LGBTQ rights and so on, no fear or favor, right.
MCKENZIE: And his sense of justice was very personal, Michael. His own daughter, one of his three daughters, entered a same sex union with her partner. She was removed from the church as a reverend because of that.
And he stood up for her very publicly and said he didn't want to go to a homophobic heaven. He always seemed to be on the right side of the history. I remember clearly during the fight against the worst ravages of HIV/AIDS when people were quiet about it.
He wore a T-shirt that activists were wearing then, saying HIV positive on the front, to try to destigmatize AIDS in this country. So he was never afraid to talk out. He often criticize people who were powerful, which got him sometimes in hot water. I don't think he didn't care but he always saw his role as someone to be the moral voice, that allowed him to stay out of politics and very much be the voice of morality and reason. Michael?
HOLMES: What then to you, in the years that you covered him and living there, you are South African, what then is his lasting legacy, through South Africa but further afield as well?
HOLMES: Well, many people hope that his lasting legacy will be his message of reconciliation of forgiveness and of love. These are obviously the -- and here is his daughter Naomi Tutu.
REV. NAOMI TUTU, DAUGHTER OF DESMOND TUTU: I'm standing to convey our family's thanks for the many ways in which all of you have stepped forward to tell us how much you loved Daddy.
I want to first apologize for all of us as a family, because we have received so many messages on all kinds of media. And we haven't been able to respond to all the prayers and good wishes that we have received.
So if you sent us a message and you haven't heard from the person you sent it to, it is not because we are ignoring or are ungrateful for the message. We have just received so many and we have just been overwhelmed.
What Daddy would say, the love the world has shown has warmed the cockles of our hearts. And he then would say, I don't know what a cockle is, but whatever it is, it has been warmed.
And since he was an English teacher and if he didn't know what a cockle is, I definitely don't know what it is.
We thank you for loving our father, grandfather, husband, uncle, brother, brother-in-law. Many of the messages we received have said thank you for sharing him with the world.
Well, it actually is a two-way street. Because we shared him with the world, you shared part of the love you held for him with us. And, so, we are thankful and we are thankful that all of you have gathered in your many places in person, all via the wonders of technology, to be a part of celebrating Daddy's life throughout this week.
And lastly to Him, who have gathered us here with Daddy.
N. TUTU: With Dada, we say thank you, Daddy, for the many ways you showed us love, for the many times you challenged us, for the many times you comforted us.
(Speaking foreign language).
HOLMES: And David McKenzie joining us again, as the reverend Naomi Tutu finishes speaking there.
Your thoughts on what we have heard so far and what's to come, David? MCKENZIE: What a poignant moment there. His daughter is, in fact, from Asheville, North Carolina, in the U.S. saying, "Lala, tata," meaning, "Sleep, father," and thanking the world for the love that they gave for this man and shared with the family, because, you know, often people have said, as she said in her remarks, that the world thanked the family for sharing Desmond Tutu with them because he had such a powerful impact in so many spheres of the globe, whether it was human rights or LGBT rights and especially racial justice.
You could see some of the charm that has gone through the generations in that family. And very touching remarks about the man, referring at one point directly to his simple pine coffin next to her and saying goodbye -- Michael.
HOLMES: Yes. And watching there on the screen, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, with a recorded message. David McKenzie in Cape Town, thanks so much. I know you will be joining us throughout the proceedings as the funeral and the honoring of Desmond Tutu continues.
CNN NEWSROOM will be right back.
HOLMES: Well, another year of living with the coronavirus has come and gone and still the pandemic is affecting life as we all know it.
HOLMES: Many cities like Moscow ringing in the new year, though, with fireworks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES (voice-over): And South Korea bringing in 2022 with a light show and traditional bell ringing in the capital city, Seoul.
But other cities canceled their big events or made do with more subdued plans to bring the year to a close.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES (voice-over): Britain celebrating with big night chimes from Big Ben resonating through central London; while in New York, in the city, they are welcoming the new year with a party in Times Square -- although, thanks to the huge surge of new COVID-19 cases, it wasn't quite the same as in the past. Alison Kosik with more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Goodbye 2021, hello 2022. And it is a new year. We have turned the page of the calendar. We did it right here in the crossroads of the world, Times Square. What a great way to do it.
You know, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio got a lot of pushback to hold this New Year's Eve because of the spread of COVID-19 cases, not just here in New York City but around the world, across the nation as well.
But this is an event that was put on with a lot of restrictions, revelers capped at 15,000 instead of the usual 60,000 people who usually come here to see the ball drop. They had to be fully vaccinated and show proof of that and wear a mask the entire evening.
You know, that Waterford crystal ball is really beautiful, all six tons of it. It made its way down from this flagpole of 170 feet and we rang in the new year. Happy new year, everybody, from Times Square. I'm Alison Kosik.
HOLMES: 2021 going out in much the same way as it came in, with surging COVID cases shattering records around the world. The pandemic showing little signs of slowing the seven-day global average. On Friday stood at more than 1.2 million new cases a day.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, says he hopes 2022 will see the end of the pandemic, urging the 5 million unvaccinated in France to get their shots.
In January, the vaccine maker, Novavax, plans to seek emergency use authorization for its COVID shot in the U.S. It is also developing a vaccine targeting Omicron and expects to begin trials in early 2022.
Countries in Europe foregoing traditional new year's celebrations as Omicron spreads almost unabated. For more, I'm joined by Salma Abdelaziz in London.
Italy, Greece, France all ending the year with record high numbers of new confirmed cases.
What is the start of 2022 looking like?
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Michael.
This is not supposed to be how the year went, right?
We started with the promise of vaccinations, the promise the pandemic could end with the help of science. What we found was yet another variant, setting unprecedented infection rates, caseloads that simply have never been seen before.
And, of course, it has health officials worried. Many setting up preparations for a potential wave of Omicron patients here in the U.K. The National Health Service says it's on a war footing. They set up surge beds and surge hubs across multiple hospitals, preparing for potentially thousands of sick COVID patients to come into those hospitals in days and weeks.
It simply comes because we don't know how many of these people who are testing positive will end up in the hospital severely ill. So a positive note is that, so far, based on what evidence has found, is that Omicron is a much milder variant of COVID-19. People are much less likely to be hospitalized, much less likely to wind up severely ill.
And therefore we have seen much lower death rates so far. So that means the way governments are handling the Omicron variant is also very different, Michael. We're not seeing those huge lockdowns that we have seen in the past; now you are looking at countries trying to live with the virus.
That's why isolation periods are being cut down. Greece and Spain has done this; the U.S. CDC cutting down that isolation period. I saw one number that said you could lose 10 percent to 20 percent of your workforce at one point because of the number of people testing positive. So Omicron is pushing governments to find a way to live with this virus.
HOLMES: Yes. Good point. I suppose the other big point is, it's mild if you are vaccinated. If you are unvaccinated, you are still facing great risk.
I'm curious, what was the impact on New Year's Eve festivities in Europe in general?
ABDELAZIZ: Well, I mean, across the region, of course, health officials were taking major steps to dampen or curb celebrations. In Germany, there was limitations on how many people can gather indoors at an event. Fireworks displays, All of those, of course, canceled out of an abundance of caution.
But more and more it became about individuals taking matters into their own hands, putting restrictions in place for themselves. So many people were testing positive. I want to give you a figure to understand.
Here in London, the week leading up to December 23rd, one out of 15 people in the city tested positive. one out of 15. That means there is not a household here that was not impacted in some way. That means people had to cancel plans all on their own, Michael.
So it does come down to health officials, warning and urging, be careful. But Omicron pushing people into isolation themselves. Michael?
HOLMES: Yes. You make a great point about even if people aren't going to hospital, a lot of people are out sick and that's affecting just how countries run. Really appreciate it, Salma. Thank you very much. Happy new year to you, my friend.
Well, the U.S. set another record, too, with more than 380,000 new infections reported on Friday. Now many states are calling out for help amid the surge. Tom Foreman reports.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The federal government is deploying disaster assistance teams and ambulances to New York. The New Year's Eve crowd in Times Square held to about a quarter of the usual. Masks and proof of vaccination required as the city is once again an epicenter of the pandemic. Statewide cases are up over 80 percent since Monday.
MAYOR ERIC ADAMS (D-NY), NEW YORK CITY: We must learn to live with COVID, adjust and pivot at the right time. And we're doing that in New York and I'm extremely optimistic on how this city is going to respond.
DR. MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, CENTER FOR DISEASE RESEARCH AND POLICY INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: Clearly New York and D.C. are ahead of the curve but not by much. So in the next 3-4 weeks, we will see everyone really hit with this.
FOREMAN (voice-over): The risk of New Year's Eve celebrations becoming coast to coast superspreaders is, for health experts, terrifying.
DR. JEANNE MARRAZZO, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA/BIRMINGHAM: I'm really worried we will be in for a tidal wave of admissions, particularly for kids in the coming weeks.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Hospitals in many places are already flooded with patients, even as nurses and doctors fall ill, prompting desperate measures.
In New Hampshire, yet another federal medical team, the Department of Defense deploying around the country for months will arrive next week to help with the overload.
In Oklahoma, the National Guard is barring unvaccinated members from joining in drills.
In New Jersey, Princeton University will delay the return to class by one week.
In Alabama, Auburn will require masks, whether you're vaccinated or not, even as primary schools struggle to reopen amid hopes that masks, testing and more will keep the virus at bay.
MIGUEL CARDONA, U.S. EDUCATION SECRETARY: I think parents have had enough of school closures due to poor policies, so let's protect our students. Let's protect our staff. Let's keep our communities thriving.
FOREMAN (voice-over): A glimmer of hope: studies and reports on the Omicron variant continue to suggest it may not be as lethal as Delta, even as it spreads wildly.
DR. PAUL SAX, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: These numbers are very, very striking but, nonetheless, I am optimistic that most people who get this infection will not become critically ill.
FOREMAN: Texas is the latest big state to reach out for help from the government, asking for more testing capabilities, more treatment capabilities and more people to handle all of it. That's something we will probably see from a lot more states in the next 6-8 weeks, as the new year starts and with the pandemic still raging -- Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
HOLMES: U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to call his Ukrainian counterpart on Sunday to brief him on Thursday's phone call with Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader did not directly mention that conversation in his annual new year's address.
Instead, his remarks mostly focusing on the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic. Nic Robertson has more from Moscow.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Look at this, Red Square; it is minutes to midnight and normally this would be chock full of people, ready to see in the new year. But because of the COVID, the government is keeping it off limits tonight.
ROBERTSON: The president, President Putin, has made a speech to the nation. In that speech, he offers condolences to those who lost loved ones. He said it's been a tough year.
One of his biggest issues that phone call with President Biden just 24 hours ago, that issue of NATO and Ukraine. That was the subject of the phone call. President Biden telling President Putin that, if he doesn't deescalate and move his troops, there will be stiff economic sanctions.
The Russian president saying that would be a terrible decision. It would lead to a rupture in bilateral relations that will be felt for ages. Putin says he wants to keep his troops where they are right now, just, he says, as the United States would if Russian troops were close to the United States border.
The standoff, the red lines for those talks in January the 10th, they're set. The phone call really lined it all up -- Nic Robertson, CNN, Moscow.
HOLMES: To say the least, 2021 was an eventful year for the British monarchy, from the loss of a loved one to concerns to the queen's health to controversy. The top royal moments -- when we come back. (MUSIC PLAYING)
HOLMES: And returning now to our top story, the funeral of anti- apartheid, Desmond Tutu. It is now well underway in Cape Town. Our David McKenzie joins me now live from outside where he has been monitoring.
David, I was curious about one thing. The archbishop was such a lion of change for the country.
Has anyone emerged who picks up the mantle, carries the baton in the same way with the same weight?
MCKENZIE: Well, Michael, I don't think so, not here in South Africa. You really have Desmond Tutu, in the same breath of Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Walter Sisulu; they are the icons of the antiapartheid struggle as well as many others. And they cannot be replaced.
But I put that question to several people both in the church and in politics over the last several days. It is interesting. Several people said that the way this mantle was picked up is individual South African, global citizens, learning from the archbishop in the way he lived his life and the way he had a strong, moral voice.
The head of one of his foundations called me. The lesson is really to get up every morning and have joy in your life, as she put it, like the archbishop had, even as he was dealing with these difficult issues.
There also has been talk about young climate activists and social justice activists picking up the mantle of this man in a collective but not in an individual sense, because I think it will be very hard, at least in the foreseeable future, to replace a voice like Desmond Tutu's.
HOLMES: We were talking earlier about his daughter, reverend Naomi Tutu, and how powerful hearing her was, speaking of her father. I'm curious.
How important was family to Desmond Tutu?
HOLMES: I know his wife was such a crucial factor in his life.
MCKENZIE: A crucial factor and really an equal partner in many ways, though not in the limelight as much as the archbishop. You have seen her at the front of the church. They were married for more than 60 years.
They were together as young teachers when both of them resigned in protest of the education act at the time where the apartheid government basically created the separate stream of education, which only gave Black South Africans the only very basic education.
It showed that both of them at the time had this strong moral calling; even at that point, weren't directly involved in politics. It is amazing to think at some point they were both in the U.K. I remember him saying he would go up to policemen and ask them for the direction, even he knew where he was going, because it was striking to him to see a person of authority, a white person, giving him respect that he felt he deserved as a teacher and then as a priest in the priesthood.
And the coming back to South Africa to fight the fight. He said he would potentially have to move off the sidewalk because of the presence of the police. You can't underestimate the level of hatred that was put toward this man in South Africa during that time and now almost universal love.
HOLMES: Yes, great insight. David, thanks so much.
We're going to go back to the funeral and the homily. Let's listen in.
REV. MICHAEL NUTTALL, RETIRED BISHOP OF NATAL: I come here today in my octogenarian years, sensitive to the awesomeness of the occasion. I come in response to the express wish of my archbishop and friend, for it was he who asked me some years ago to do this at his funeral.
How could I refuse such an honor?
First let me say a few words to the chief mourner among us, you and I are in close solidarity in the loss. I know what you must be going through. Each person should be free to grieve in whatever way is best appropriate for them.
Many times you wiped away the tears of your husband or, as we all know, he cried very easily at the life of our country. And at the past and present he had much to cry about, not to mention the wider world that seems, in many ways, to be tearing itself apart.
Today we are here to try, to try in a small way to wipe away your tears. The tears are, of course, a very necessary part of our grieving. Allow me to give you and your family a comment that was sent to me for my comfort and which I found helpful in the strange twists and turns of my own grieving.
Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.
Desmond and I became close in an unlikely partnership at a truly critical time in the life of our country from 1989 to 1996: he, as archbishop of Cape Town, and I, as his deputy, when I was elected by my brother bishops to be also what is called dean of the province.
NUTTALL: I was asked during a pastoral visit that we made together to Jerusalem what my ecclesiastical title meant. My answer was that it meant number two to Tutu. The nickname stuck. But more importantly, our partnership struck a chord perhaps in the
hearts and minds of many people, a dynamic Black leader and his people and his white deputy in the dying years of apartheid.
And hey, presto, the heavens did not collapse. We were a foretaste, if you like, of what could be in our wayward, divided nation.
What does the Lord require of you but to pursue justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?
Allow me briefly to unpack each of these qualities in regard to our archbishop. First, pursue justice. Desmond was not on some crusade or personal aggrandizement or egotism. He often disarmingly admitted that he loved to be loved.
And what is wrong with that?
Do we not all love to be loved?
It is a human craving from the moment we are born. But no, Desmond's response to grave injustice came from the depths of his being and often in response to what he called the divine nudge. Listen to what his favorite prophet, Jeremiah, wrote.
"There is in my heart, as it were, a burning fire, shut up in my bones. And I am weary with holding it in and I cannot."
That is how Desmond Tutu lived and ministered in a situation of systemic and often brutal injustice in his own beloved country. Nor did the fire in his breast die out in his years of retirement and old age, though he was thrilled with the coming of democracy.
In 1994, watch out, watch out, watch out, he warned sternly, when the new government stalled expediently in giving a visa to his friend and fellow peace laureate, the Dalai Lama, at the time of the Arch's 80th birthday.
He was not similarly turned down when he went to India for the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday.
They together produced a book, called "The Book of Joy," which is a spiritual classic for our time and, indeed, for all time, a book crafted by a deep and humorous conversation between a Buddhist and a Christian and compiled beautifully by Douglas Abrams, who is a Jew.
There is a profound pursuit of a just order in this fine product; namely a religious just order, amid so much shameful intolerance in today's world.
Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.
Secondly, love kindness, love kindness. This was our Arch at his very best. His was not a harsh, ideological quest for justice. Always it was grounded in mercy, to use the Hebrew word, in an enduring loving kindness, to touch, with a giving heart and a warm smile.
Oh, yes, the warm smile. Remember his fine book on the Truth and the Reconciliation Commission, that seminal body which he chaired.
NUTTALL: It was titled "No Future without Forgiveness."
How could someone who had suffered so much hostility and disdain in his own country settle for such a conviction, such magnanimity?
It was because all that he stood for and strove for was undergirded by a spirit of mercy toward everyone.
Did you ever receive it from him, a phone call or a gift of flowers, a card, a handwritten letter or an email?
When my wife of 57 years died on All Souls Day In 2016, he was on the phone to me, despite great physical frailty, to comfort me and say a little prayer from the heart.
Desmond was quite at ease praying on the telephone with others. Actually, he prayed anywhere and everywhere, not only in churches and chapels. He also so wanted to be at my wife's funeral and was truly pained that ill health prevented him.
The flowers, of course, arrived. The flowers arrived.
It is a painful and beautiful memory for me.
Thirdly, walk humbly with your God. Here is the mystery of the interior pilgrimage of the soul. There were three Ps to Archbishop. He was the prophet, the pastor and the prayer.
HOLMES: You have been watching there the funeral of service for Archbishop Desmond Tutu at St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town. Thanks for spending part of your day with me. I'm Michael Holmes.
Coverage of the funeral continues in just a moment with Paula Newton.