By Mary Regan, Political Correspondent in Boston
The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, has been applauded by prominent members of the Irish community in Boston for what was described as his "courage" in standing up to religious institutions.
Boston Cardinal, Sean O'Malley, is to boycott a speech by Mr Kenny in Boston College tomorrow because he believes the Taoiseach is "aggresively promoting abortion legislation."
At an event in the city last night to mark the 50th anniversary of the visit of President John F. Kennedy to Ireland, the Taoiseach received strong support from the Irish-American community.
There was a standing ovation after Senator Paul Kirk - who replaced Edward Kennedy as Massachusetts Senator - told the Taoiseach that "we salute you Mr Prime Minister for your courage".
He said Mr Kenny had chosen "to speak the unvarnishied but inconvenient truth to the highest institutions of religious power on the fundamental issues of honesty, transparency, accountability and social justice."
The event was attended by members of the Kennedy family as well as business, cultural and political leaders from the Irish community in Boston.