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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (ChurchMilitant.com) - A cardinal from the Dominican Republic, engaged in a public quarrel with the country's U.S. ambassador, called the openly gay official a "wife" and told him to "focus on housework."
Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, the archbishop of Santo Domingo, made the remarks Tuesday in response to comments from U.S. ambassador James Brewster alleging corruption within the Dominican Republic.
"That man needs to go back to his embassy," the cardinal said. "Let him focus on housework, since he's the wife to a man."
Brewster is the seventh openly gay ambassador in U.S. history; he is expected to appear on a local news program Thursday to address the cardinal's remarks.
Cardinal Lopez's comments come in response to Ambassador Brewster's allegations that police officers had threatened and harassed U.S. investors visiting the country for a conference.
"Imagine the horror I felt when I got a call from one of them, telling me they had been stopped by a uniformed police officer, that they had a weapon pointed at them and that they were forced to turn over their wallets," Brewster claimed.
Brewster additionally stated that anyone who believes the U.S. Embassy is too entrenched in governmental affairs of the Dominican Republic should relinquish their U.S. visas; the cardinal responded that he would be honored to do so, saying that he "couldn't care less" and that he is "not interested in traveling."
This is not the first time Cdl. Lopez and Ambassador Brewster have been engaged in public arguments with each other.
In June 2014 the cardinal told Brewster to "take his gay pride elsewhere" in response to the release of a video promoting LGBT Pride Month that featured Brewster and his "husband."
"Diplomacy is not for that sort of thing, an absolutely negative propaganda," the cardinal told reporters. "I am totally against that, everybody knows it. ... [M]y position is not new, not because this man with this kind of attitude has now arrived."
In July 2013, when news broke that President Obama had nominated Brewster as ambassador, the cardinal called the newly appointed official a "maricón" — a slang term for a homosexual male — and noted that although his own stance on homosexuality is well known, "in the United States anything can happen."
The ambassador has also been called out by other Church officials in the Dominican Republic. The auxiliary bishop of Santo Domingo Victor Masalles responded to Brewster's claims of corruption within the country by stating that the ambassador doesn't seem "interested in solving that problem" but rather using it to promote his "well-known LGBT agenda."
Father Louis Rosario, director of youth ministries for the Dominican Republic, called Brewster's remarks "shameful" and labeled the ambassador's challenge to anyone who disagrees with his criticism to hand over their visas "extortion."
The U.S. Embassy has not officially spoken on the matter.