The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter today to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio criticizing the cityâ€™s ticket giveaway contest for Pope Francisâ€™s upcoming Central Park Procession.
The pope is visiting New York City on Friday, Sept. 25. The city plans to draw ticket winners this Thursday, Sept. 10.
â€śBy singling out this event for a ticket giveaway, NYC appears to be endorsing Pope Francisâ€™ sectarian religious message,â€ť wrote FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor in the letter to de Blasio. â€śThis practice violates the well-established constitutional principle that the government must remain neutral toward religion.â€ť
â€śThe City of New York must stop this ticket giveaway immediately,â€ť the letter concludes, requesting a response from de Blasio.
FFRF is a national state/church watchdog with more than 23,000 nonreligious members, including over 1,200 in New York.