The Empire State Building refused to honor Timothy Cardinal Dolan — setting off a torrent of outrage against the iconic structure that has honored everything from athletes to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
In 2009, the building even honored the 60th anniversary of China’s communist takeover of China. But this week, they showed no love for Dolan — a global ambassador for New York City.
Religious leaders, politicians and city-dwellers are seeing red.
“It’s an insult to Catholics and to the vast majority of New Yorkers who love Cardinal Dolan,” said Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League.
Port Authority officials came to the rescue after Empire State Building owner Anthony Malkin squashed a request by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-S.I.) to pay tribute to Dolan in lights.
The rising 1 World Trade Center began glowing red late Friday after the Empire State Building’s Dolan dis. It will continue until next Friday.
“Cardinal Dolan has captured the hearts of all New Yorkers with his quick wit, street smarts and compassion for those of all religious faiths,” said PA Executive Director Pat Foye.
Port Authority officials said that bathing the building in red won’t cost the agency a dime.
“Where there is a will there is a way, and One WTC is even more appropriate as a symbol of hope, courage and the bright future of New York, all of which Cardinal Dolan exemplifies,” Grimm said.
Malkin, whose rep declined comment Friday, caused a holy uproar in 2010 when the Empire State Building refused to honor Mother Teresa. During that controversy, Malkin said the building was privately owned and had a policy against “lighting for religious figures.”
Critics were quick to point out that the skyscraper was lit to honor John Paul II and Cardinal O’Connor. And they bristled at the tributes going on at the Empire State Building over the next few days.
On Monday, the lights on the 102-story building will turn green and blue to mark Corporate Philanthropy Day. A day later, the same colors will mark National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.