New York landmark says ‘no’ to Mother Teresa

2010-06-09 11:19

New York City’s Empire State Building said “yes” to Mariah Carey,

dog shows, cancer charities – and even the 60th anniversary of communist


But the landmark skyscraper’s owners have declined to illuminate it

in honour of the late Mother Teresa.

Catholic League President Bill Donohue said: “They’re bigots! They

have an animus against Catholics!”

He said his lay advocacy group requested that the building glow on

August 26 for the centennial of the late Nobel Peace Prize-winner’s birth. The

request was denied in an unsigned, faxed letter, Donohue said, “and they never

gave an explanation”.

He said Empire State Building officials were “stonewalling” not

only the Catholic League, but also the media and members of New York’s City


Now, another prominent New York Catholic is voicing her


City Council speaker Christine Quinn said that she spoke yesterday

with Empire State Building owner Anthony Malkin.

Although the real estate mogul was “very professional” and said he

“would reflect on the points I made,” she said, he didn’t give her a

satisfactory answer.

She said the answer should be “yes to Mother Teresa”.

Telephone messages left for building spokesperson Melanie Maasch

were not returned yesterday.

The telephone at Malkin Holdings, Malkin’s Manhattan-based company,

rang unanswered late yesterday afternoon.

In New York, Mother Teresa helped open a pioneering hospice for

Aids patients in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.

Quinn said: “Her impact on the world was so much greater than one

religious group.”

Although she’s Catholic, the Democratic City Council speaker has

often disagreed with the religiously traditional league on issues such as gay

marriage. Quinn is openly gay.

But when it comes to the iconic skyscraper and the ethnic Albanian

nun who worked in India, she backs the league.

Meanwhile, councilman Ydanis Rodriguez released a statement saying

he and councilman Peter Vallone plan to introduce a resolution at a City Hall

press conference and rally today calling on the building to honour Mother


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