The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter today to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio criticizing the city’s ticket giveaway contest for Pope Francis’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.
“By singling out this event for a ticket giveaway, NYC appears to be endorsing Pope Francis’ sectarian religious message,” wrote FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor in the letter to de Blasio. “This practice violates the well-established constitutional principle that the government must remain neutral toward religion.”
“The City of New York must stop this ticket giveaway immediately,” 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.