Cardinal Timothy Dolan was hotly tipped to be the guest of honor at the New York State American-Irish Legislators Society dinner on March 12, but was snubbed amid internal controversy, according to the Daily News.
“Dolan was the first one mentioned to honor, given his recent ascension to cardinal, and originally it looked like it was leaning that way,” a supporter told the Daily News. “It was a no-brainer”.
However, opposition came from some Assembly Democratic members due to the church’s stance on same sex marriage.
“It was clear there were certain members of the majority who would be unhappy and uncomfortable if the honoree was the cardinal,” a second member of the society told the newspaper.
The society decided to honor Irish-American leading attorney Brian O’Dwyer instead.
Another source said that an honoree’s political views should not be a major consideration.
We’re an Irish organization,” the source said. “Our guest of honor should be a prominent person in the Irish community.”
Dolan, he said, “is a newly elevated cardinal and he is a fine Irishman and a prominent player on the stage. You can make the argument I disagree with Mr. O’Dwyer’s politics, but I think he’s a fine Irishman and a great honoree — only he should have been next year.”
The society president, Assemblyman Michael Cusick of Staten Island, denied that Dolan was snubbed.