A few months ago the Catholic League got angry at the Empire State Building planners for not agreeing to light up blue and white to honor Mother Teresa's 100th birthday. City Councilman Peter Vallone proposed a bill to force the building to light up, Brooklyn Borough Hall and the Intrepid both agreed to light, and Christine Quinn called ESB owner Anthony Malkin a hypocrite. But now, some Catholics are saying Mother Teresa wouldn't want her birthday in lights anyway.
Groups including Catholics for Choice and the National Coalition of American Nuns sent Malkin a letter calling out Catholic League president Bill Donohue for creating a "controversy out of nothing." They write, "Mother Teresa rarely celebrated her birthday herself, and would, we are sure, be appalled to hear that this anniversary of her birth had been used to create such a storm...We urge you to stand firm and withstand whatever vitriol that comes your way from the Catholic League."
However, Donohue says that because they don't want the late nun's birthday celebrated by the lighting of a privately-owned building (and possibly because they don't pay many dues), they are not true Catholics. He told the Wall Street Journal, "They hate me, and, quite frankly, I don't give a s---. They're angry that we have muscle, and they have none...This is an issue which began with Mother Teresa—it now transcends her. What's at stake is this: We have a committed billionaire, secular humanist, Anthony Malkin, who has decided to, in effect, stick his middle finger into the face of Roman Catholics in the United States." Mother Teresa's birthday is this Thursday, and according to the ESB lighting schedule, the building will be the all white "ESB lighting."