Even before stepping on Dominican Republic soil, James "Wally" Brewster has been the target of anti-gay and ugly attacks by a Dominican Catholic Cardinal. Since his appointment as U.S.
Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Brewster, who married his husband the same day he was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden, has had to deal with homophobic attacks from the Catholic Church abroad.
Earlier this month, Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez (photo) said Ambassador Brewster should focus on homemaking, because he's married to a man.
"Let him focus on housework, since he's the wife to a man," López Rodríguez told reporters after conducting mass.
In 2013, after discussing Brewster's appointment with reporters, López Rodríguez claimed the U.S.Ambassador would attempt to establish marriage for same-sex couples in the Dominican Republic. He then mockingly said we've been "talking about faggots and lesbians."
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, has had enough.
On Tuesday he penned a letter to Pope Francis asking His Holiness to rein in his homophobic cardinal.
"Even before Ambassador Brewster’s arrival in Santo Domingo in 2013, Cardinal Rodriguez launched a personal attack against him with public statements quoted in the popular press," Sen. Durbin's letter reads.
The Cardinal used the hateful slur “faggot,” which he continues to use to this day. In a recent interview Cardinal Rodriguez again described the Ambassador as a “faggot” and falsely claimed the Ambassador was setting out to promote “faggotry” in the Dominican Republic. The Cardinal described the Ambassador as a “wife” who “should stick to housework.”Calling Cardinal López Rodriguez's comments "intolerant," Durbin observes the Catholic Church’s "teachings on gay marriage are well known but the Church also teaches us to show tolerance for those with different sexual orientations."
"Since your selection as Pope, you have shared a message of compassion, tolerance, and love," the Illinois Democrat writes, then artfully reminds the Pope of his address before Congress when he told them of their "responsibility to 'defend and preserve the dignity'" of our "'fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good.'"
"I accept that challenge and I am calling on you to ask nothing less of the hierarchy of the Church," Durbin requested.
Image by PresidenciaRD via Flickr and a CC licenseHat tip: Washington Blade