The Catholic League has erected a nativity scene in New York’s Central Park. Located on the corner of 59th Street and 5th Avenue, the crèche will be blessed by Monsignor John Woolsey, pastor of St. John the Martyr in Manhattan, at 4:00 pm. It will be up for two weeks.
Catholic League president William Donohue offered the following remarks today:
“Contrary to what some lawyers and urban bureaucrats say, it is not illegal to put a nativity scene on public property. We paid for the crèche ourselves and obtained a permit from the Parks Department of New York City to place it in Central Park. Yet the same city that allows Jews to put menorahs in the public schools, and allows Muslims to do the same with the crescent and star, bans nativity scenes from the schools. That is why we arranged for a lawsuit against New York City: we secured a plaintiff, Andrea Skoros, and the Thomas More Law Center is handling the litigation. We are awaiting a decision by Judge Charles Sifton of the Eastern District Court on this matter.
“By putting a nativity scene in Central Park, the Catholic League is sending a message: Christmas trees and Santa are great, but they are no substitute for a crèche. Just as Jews wouldn’t be satisfied if they were told they could not put a menorah on public property, but dreidels were acceptable, Catholics and Protestants will not settle for secular symbols—we want a religious display.”