New York: Mother Teresa`s 100th birth anniversary will be marked in New York`s iconic Times Square with billboards and buildings emitting a soft blue light to honour the Nobel laureate, while the Empire State Building has refused to be a part of the global celebrations.
Named the Great White Way, bright neon lights, the colours of Mother Teresa`s Missionaries of Charity, will light up the city`s celebrations today which are being organised by Times Square Advertising Coalition.
"This is in honour of everything she gave to the world," said Emily Banks of the Coalition. At the same time, The Catholic League is organising a rally to protest against the Empire State Building`s refusal to light its top three tiers in white and blue for Mother Teresa.
In January, the Catholic League in New York put in a request for the building to glow blue and white on August 26. The main reason for the refusal, given by the building owner Anthony Malkin, was a policy not to Honor religious figures, New York Daily News reported. "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, Hanukah, and Christmas," the statement said. "As a privately owned building, ESB has a specific policy against any other lighting for religious figures or requests by religions and religious organisations," it added.
Although, the Catholic League previously told PTI that it had evidence that the Empire State Building had lit up on April 25, 2009 in Honor of the Salesians Sisters who are catholic nuns. "More people are going to turn out for this (the rally)," said Bill Donahue, the head of the Catholic League. "He (Malkin) will look like the biggest buffoon in New
York and maybe in the world."
However, FOX News reported that Malkin had received some support from a group called Catholics for Choice and several other liberal Catholic organisations, which described Donahue`s protest as a "self-promotion campaign." Donohue "is doing the opposite of what Mother Teresa would have wanted him to do," said David Nolan, director of communications for Catholics for Choice. "Mother Teresa was a very humble woman she would look upon this campaign by the Catholic League as something that was the very opposite of how she lived her life."
Mother Teresa, a Nobel peace prize winner and now Roman Catholic saint-in-waiting, was born on August 26, 1910 to Albanian parents in what is now Skopje in Macedonia.