Mother Teresa Caught Between Empire State and New York City

Mother Teresa receives Presidential Medal of Freedom 1985.

The Empire State Building authorities in New York are refusing to honor Mother Teresa on August 26 by bathing the tower in blue and white on what would be her 100th birthday.
“If the lights won’t shine for Mother Teresa at the Empire State Building, there’ll be plenty of blue and white illuminations elsewhere. The city’s borough halls are pledging to show the colors,” says the president of the City Council calling on New Yorkers to put blue and white battery-operated lights in their windows.
In addition Mayor Mike Bloomberg and others are planning to do volunteer work on August 26 as a way to honor the legacy of a woman who spent her life serving the poor and needy.
U.S. Postage will honour Mother Teresa by releasing a postage stamp to mark her birth centenary.
On its website, the building’s management states its policy not to honor religious or political figures, saying, “The Empire State Building’s tower lights recognize key milestones, events, charitable organizations, countries and holidays throughout the world, not political or religion related events.”
However on April 25, 2009 the towers were aglow in pink and blue to honor Salesian Sisters, a Roman Catholic religious order, marking their 100 years in the U.S.
Again last year, on September 30, 2009: The Empire State Building lit in red and yellow to honor the 60th anniversary of the communist revolution in China.
U.S. Catholics are criticizing the owners of the landmark skyscraper for declining to illuminate it in honor of the late Nobel Laureate (1979) and U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom (1985) and U.S. Congressional Medal of Freedom (1997) winner Mother Teresa, who would have turned 100 on August 26, 2010.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue says the building didn’t refer to its policy when the Catholic League applied (February 2010) to have the building honor Mother Teresa, and he accused the owners of making up the rules as they go along.
The owner of the Empire State Building Anthony Malkin contends that the lighting of the 102-story building’s tower for any purpose is a privilege, not a right, and the company has the final say.
“Malkin is obviously lying about his so-called policy, and for some reason harbors an animus against Mother Teresa. He owes it to everyone to come clean and tell the truth about what makes him really tick. Like a coward, he refuses to debate me on TV. Meantime, we are going ahead with our demonstration on August 26, and will not yield unless he comes to his senses,” says unrelenting Donohue.

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Filed under Empire State Building, Mother Teresa, New York City, Nun's Story, Salesian Sisters

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