Since January 1998, Senate Republicans have been blocking the Clinton administration’s nominee for the position of Ambassador to Luxembourg, James Hormel. A homosexual activist, Hormel has come under fire from many conservative groups. The Catholic League has said from the beginning that it is not opposed to Hormel because of his sexual orientation (it has not, for example, opposed any Clinton appointee on this basis), but it is concerned about his refusal to distance himself from an anti-Catholic group in San Francisco, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

The White House is poised to push for Hormel’s nomination again. This comes at a most interesting time: the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is holding a public celebration on Easter Sunday. Thus far, Mayor Willie Brown, the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the Catholic League have opposed the decision by the San Francisco Supervisors to grant this anti-Catholic group the right to mock Catholics on Easter Sunday. It is important to know what position Hormel takes on this issue.

Catholic League president William Donohue spoke to this matter today:

“I have written to the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee requesting that they revisit the issue of James Hormel’s suitability for public office. Explicitly, I have asked that they pursue with Mr. Hormel the line of questioning that Senator Tim Hutchinson previously developed, namely Hormel’s stance with regard to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The anti-Catholic group will hold a public celebration in San Francisco on Easter Sunday mocking Catholics, and that is why it is so urgent to learn whether Mr. Hormel approves of this action.

“I have also expressed my desire to testify before either the Subcommittee on European Affairs or the entire Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The Catholic League will soon commence a letter-writing campaign asking it 350,000 members nationwide to contact the committee.”

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