In an article published yesterday in El Nacional on the views of Dominican Republic Cardinal Jesús López Rodríguez the lead issue was whether political figures should disclose where they get their earnings. The Cardinal supported the idea and said that it would bring transparency to politics in the island. Good thing!
But the paper also says that the Cardinal used the interview to reiterate the Catholic church's opposition to making abortion legal (he argued that access to abortion would promote promiscuity among youth by making it easy for them to get rid of unwanted pregnancies).
No big surprise there.
He also criticized those who promote condom use as a prevention tool against pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases saying that all they were doing was working on behalf of the condom companies (he argued that that condoms did not provide 100% protection because sperm was 500 times smaller than condom fibers and that they could easily get through, language that comes from a 1993 research paper that has been soundly challenged).
No big surprise there, either.
Still, the good Cardinal didn't stop there and, for someone like me who has grown used to anti-gay religious leaders sweetening their anti-gay language in fuzzy-wuzzy "love the sinner, hate the sin" rhetoric, something else he said literally made my jaw drop.
According to El Nacional, the Cardinal, arguing that fidelity should be at the core of education efforts to stem pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases "explained that for those reasons the Catholic church was opposed to promiscuity between 'heterosexuals and maricones' because sex had to be of the moment and between a man and a woman."
Now, mind you, the Cardinal could have easily said 'homosexuals' or 'gays' but he specifically used the word "maricones" meaning 'faggots' which I find shocking coming from the Dominican Republic's top religious leader.
Then again, this is the same Cardinal that has made the following comments about gays in the past:
On the presence of gays in Santo Domingo's historic colonial district: "They should stay in Europe or the United States, we don't need that social trash, we don't need it" and "Take all of them away... We cannot allow that this place, the historical center of Santo Domingo, be converted into the patrimony of foreign and Dominican degenerates" (AP, April 7, 2006)
On whether gays should serve in the military: "The moment it is allowed that a general can marry a lieutenant, the line of command immediately fails... Not only [am I against] the inclusion of these type of people, if the fact is that they are already in they should be thrown out, because if it's allowed they will have to renounce one of their key principles, which is discipline" (Clave Digital, November 28, 2006).
Arguing that the United States and its tolerant policies were to blame for the Catholic church's child sexual abuse scandals and stating his views on the ordinance of gay priests: Referring to what he called "hombres flojos" [weak men] and "amanerados" [effeminates] the Cardinal said "I am not involved in this topic, discussing the silly things that people make up: If someone is effeminate or whatnot. Those who are effeminate have to go elsewhere. I don't want them anywhere near a place of responsibility. I don't want them in the cleric. Honestly, I don't have interest in them" (Reuters, April 30, 2002).
Considering these views, I guess it was only a matter of time until the word "faggot" rolled off the Cardinal's tongue as effortlessly as it did earlier this week. It still doesn't fail to be shocking to me.
UPDATE: A religious-themed blog, Secretum Meum Mihi, aks why other media who reported on the Cardinal's statements did not mention his usage of the word 'maricones.' They wonder if El Nacional is at fault for erroneosly attributing the usage of the word to the Cardinal.
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