For Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, it is a lesson that not even his Catholic-school upbringing could have taught: When you are the state’s top elected official, even the most innocent scheduling conflict can assume a life of its own.
Mr. Cuomo discovered this after his aides recently informed Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, the leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, that the governor would not be able to meet with him and other Catholic bishops from the state when they traveled to Albany this week for their annual lobbying visit.Political observers immediately sought to find meaning behind what some suspected was an intentional snub. On Monday, though, Mr. Cuomo and Archbishop Dolan compared schedules and found a time to meet on Tuesday, for coffee at the Executive Mansion.
Mr. Cuomo’s spokesman, Josh Vlasto, said the governor’s office had originally received a request for a meeting on Monday, when the governor was scheduled to deliver speeches in Syracuse and Rochester. (The Syracuse speech was canceled because of poor weather, but the trip to Rochester proceeded.)
It was not until Monday that they learned that Archbishop Dolan and the bishops would be in Albany on Tuesday, too. At that point, “the governor gladly agreed to meet with them,” Mr. Vlasto said.
Mr. Cuomo called Archbishop Dolan last week to stress that he meant no offense by declining their request.
A spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference, Dennis Poust, described the scheduling situation as a “miscommunication” and nothing more.