New York’s top Catholic leader has warned President Barack Obama that he has "got the Irish up in me" in his regime’s ongoing contraception row with the Church.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan has told the President that he will not "step down" in his battle over birth control.

The Cardinal also told a story about bishops successfully hiring an "attractive, articulate, intelligent" laywoman to speak against abortion.

He said it was: “The best thing we ever did. In the public square, I hate to tell you, the days of fat, balding Irish bishops are over.”

Fresh from his recent elevation to the status of Cardinal at a ceremony in Rome, the Archbishop of New York threatened legal action against the American government.

The New York Daily News reports that Dolan has vowed to fight back after Democrats defeated an effort by Senate Republicans to block Obama’s order that most employers, including religious institutions, or their insurers cover contraceptives.

“I was disappointed but not surprised,” said Cardinal Dolan at the Holy Trinity Diocesan High School in Hicksville, L.I.

“We still have a lot of hope that it could be revived in the Senate.

“The issue is an unwarranted government intrusion into the Church and constitutional scholars and legal experts have suggested taking the fight to court.

“We’re going to take them up on that because they know a lot more about it than we do.”

The New York Archbishop also said he was angered by the administration’s suggestion that the Church follow its more liberal members.

“We kind of got our Irish up when leaders in government seemed to be assigning an authoritative voice to Catholic groups that are not the bishops,” he said.

“If you want an authoritative voice, go to the bishops.”

The New York Times reports that Cardinal Dolan also claimed that, in an era when the church is fighting the government on several fronts, they need to make their voices heard in the political sphere.

President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Dolan said: “We are called to be very active, very informed and very involved in politics.”

The Times reports that, although the Obama administration has suggested a compromise that could let employers offer the coverage without paying for it directly, Dolan told the crowd at Holy Trinity Diocesan High School that the government sought to make the church do something "we find unconscionable."

The paper also says that Cardinal Daly "mocked a secular culture that seems to discover new rights every day."

He said: “I don’t recall a right to marriage. Marriage is a call.

“Now we hear there’s a right to sterilization, abortion and chemical contraceptives.

“I suppose there might be a doctor who would say to a man who’s suffering some type of sexual dysfunction, ‘You ought to visit a prostitute to help you.'”

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