The Dominican community in New York City has reacted swiftly to Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez crude insult to incoming U.S. ambassador James Brewster:
El movimiento Dominicanos Laicos [the Dominican Laity movement] has already written a letter to the Apostolic Nunciature in which they demanded the resignation of Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, and that the Concordat between the Vatican and the Dominican Republic be regulated or annulled.Fox News Latino adds:
The Dominican people are speaking and are showing signs that they are in lockstep with the majority of Latino Catholics in the United States, who are increasingly in favor of gay rights.
An informal poll by Dominican newspaper Hoy showed 60 percent of respondents were against the Catholic Church's criticism of Brewster. Another poll conducted by Pulso Dominicano showed that 57 percent believe the Dominican government should protect and provide more opportunity for gays to hold public office.
...According to the U.S. State Department, 68 percent of Dominicans are Catholic. As with U.S. Latinos and elsewhere in Latin America, the Protestant movement is growing, partly by winning over Catholic converts. Evangelical churches in the country have grown from claiming 11 percent of the country’s religious followers in 2000 to as high as 20 percent as of last year.
"People don't attend church as often and when you look at the rate of marriages in the Dominican Republic, a sacred value of the Church, it is one of the lowest in Latin America,” said Hernandez, of the Dominican Studies Institute.
...regarding Brewster, the government — unlike the Church — has actually shown restraint, and did not publicly condemn his nomination. In fact, the government is already considering the matter a done deal.
Blabbeando has covered this like no other blog, in fascinating detail and has revealed that the Dominican Republic's government has ignored the Catholic Church's bullying and implied threats, raising no objections to the nomination of James Brewster:
In the past you probably would have only heard from religious and conservative leaders on the issue. What is remarkable is the push back the homophobic criticisms from the church and conservative leaders are getting not only from gays and lesbians but also the community in general.
While President Danilo Medina has not publicly spoken about the issue, members of his administration are defending the nomination which would not have happened in previous administrations.
One Catholic priest, Jesús Maria Tejada, is also buckling the religious powers that be stating that Brewster should be judged on his merits and not on his sexual identity.
Also, an informal online survey ran this weekend by HOY, a leading newspaper, had 60% of readers disagreeing with the criticism coming from the church.
It might be that people are getting tired of the church expressing outrage over what they consider immoral issues while turning a blind eye to immoral acts within the church. Earlier this month in a case that has captured the attention of all Dominicans officials called on a Polish priest to return to the island and face charges he sexually abused up to fourteen children.
Or perhaps they are tired of the naked vitriolic homophobia of Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez whose declining decades-old power has had a stranglehold on Dominican politics when it comes to LGBT rights.