Empire State Building Won't Light Up for Mother Teresa

Request to honor of her birth denied
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 9, 2010 6:48 AM CDT
Empire State Building Won't Light Up for Mother Teresa
In this Sept. 30, 2009 file photo, the Empire State Building can be seen lit in red and yellow to honor the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.   (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)

(Newser) – New York City's Empire State Building said "yes" to Mariah Carey, dog shows, cancer charities—even the 60th anniversary of communist China. But the landmark skyscraper's owners have declined to illuminate it in honor of the late Mother Teresa. Catholic League President Bill Donohue said his lay advocacy group requested that the building glow on Aug. 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."

Two city councilman plan to introduce a resolution at a City Hall press conference and rally today calling on the building to honor her. Illuminating the 102-story high-rise on Fifth Avenue in different colors to mark an important date, cause, or personality is a New York tradition. For Mother Teresa, who helped open a pioneering hospice for AIDS patients in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, the building would glow in blue and white, the colors of her Missionaries of Charity order. (Read more Empire State Building stories.)

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