After passage of a gay marriage bill in New York, Timothy Dolan, the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, said he loves the gay community.

On Friday night, the New York Senate approved Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to make New York the sixth – and most populous – state to legalize gay marriage. Cuomo quickly signed the bill into law and gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed in the Empire State starting in 30 days.

Dolan had strongly condemned allowing gay couples to marry, calling it an “ominous threat” to society and “a violation of what we consider the natural law that's embedded in every man and woman.”

“The definition of marriage is a given: It is a lifelong union of love and fidelity leading, please God, to children, between one man and one woman,” Dolan wrote in a blog posting titled Marriage: The Core of Every Civilization.

“The definition of marriage is hardwired into our human reason.”

“To tamper with that definition, or to engage in some Orwellian social engineering about the nature and purpose of marriage, is perilous to all of us. If the definition of marriage is continually being altered, could it not in the future be morphed again to include multiple spouses or even family members.”

“If big, intrusive government can re-define the most basic, accepted, revealed truth that marriage simply means one man + one woman + (hopefully) children, in a loving family, then I'm afraid Orwell's works will no longer be on the fiction shelf.”

The Sunday before senators voted on the bill, Dolan prayed for its defeat. During prayer service at St. Patrick's cathedral, Dolan said: “Any presumption to redefine that sacred vocabulary, I'm afraid is at our common peril.”

This Sunday, however, Dolan kept mum about gay unions, telling NY1 that he did not want any distractions during a time of worship.

“Well, this is about prayer, and I sort of needed a good dose of the lord's grace and mercy because I've been down a little recently, as you might imagine,” Dolan said.

He said the vote did not surprise him, adding that he loved the gay community.

“To the gay community, I love you very much. If anything I ever said or did would lead you to believe that I have anything less than love and respect for you, I apologize.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)