The owner of the Empire State Building has "stiffed" the Catholic Church by not lighting up the famed structure in honor of Pope Francis' visit, says Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
"We checked with the Empire State building, we found out the authorities over there, they're lighting up tonight for the opening gala for the New York Philharmonic," Donohue said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"Isn't that so sweet? Once again, Catholics get stiffed by this guy [Anthony] Malkin, [Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Empire State Realty Trust]."
In a statement, Malkin said: "The Empire State Building celebrates many cultures and causes in the world community with iconic lightings, and has a tradition of lightings for the religious holidays of Easter, Eid al Fitr, Hanukkah, and Christmas."
"As a privately owned building, ESB has a specific policy against any other lighting for religious figures or requests by religions and religious organizations."
"[He says] we don't acknowledge religious leaders. Well they do," Donohue told Malzberg.
"They acknowledged the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King as they should and the pope is also a head of state."
Donohue — author of "The Catholic Advantage: Why Health, Happiness, and Heaven Await the Faithful,"
published by Image — also noted that the Empire State Building was lit up for the death of Cardinal John O'Connor in 2000.
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