Catholics blast Chirlane McCray over city statue snub
Catholics want Chirlane McCray to repent.
The faithful raised holy hell this week after The Post reported the first lady’s “She Built NYC” program for statues honoring exceptional women rejected the public’s choice of iconic sister Frances Xavier Cabrini.
Cabrini, the first American saint, devoted her life to helping the needy in the late 1800s but got passed over despite receiving 219 votes, more than any other nominee.
Councilman Justin Brannan fired off an angry letter to McCray’s office on Monday this week, saying, “Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, who received more nominations from New Yorkers than any other woman during the process, has been completely ignored.”
“My simple question is this: why open this for a public vote and then ignore the results?” the councilman asked.
Congregants at her namesake church in Bensonhurst were “very disappointed” after learning she would not be among the seven women selected, said Rev. Guy Sbordone.
“People were a little taken aback, and rightfully so,” he said. “They’re thinking about their vote and what it meant and why it isn’t being honored.”
Among Cabrini’s work was teaching children, including Sbordone’s grandmother in the early 1900s, at Transfiguration School in Little Italy.
The Italian-born patron saint of immigrants was one of four of the public’s top picks to be snubbed by McCray and ex-Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen’s group.
Instead, they selected 19th-century civil rights leader Elizabeth Jennings Graham, jazz singer Billie Holiday, abortion rights activist Dr. Helen Rodriguez Trías and transgender advocate Sylvia Rivera.
Three women favored in poll were chosen by McCray: Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, lighthouse keeper Katherine Walker and LGBTQ rights activist Marsha P. Johnson.
And in another apparent bow to political correctness, a panel appointed by Mayor de Blasio charged with looking into all public art proposals examined plans to put up a monument for Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in Central Park.
It recommended that the privately funded group honor women of color. Last Monday it was decided that Sojourner Truth would be added to the monument, set to be built next year.
Meanwhile, the “She Built NYC” selections process remains murky.
It got $5 million from $10 million that Hizzoner set aside after a second de Blasio-appointed committee — formed in the wake of violence by white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, Va. to investigate “symbols of hate on city property” — recommended a more “inclusive” stock of public art.
Four members of McCray’s panel also served on de Blasio’s statues committee. Both are led by Cultural Affairs Commissioner Thomas Finkelpearl, a former Queens Museum exec hired by de Blasio in 2014.
The mayor was asked June 4 if LGBTQ historians were consulted for the “She Built NYC” statues.
“I did not direct them specifically,” he said.
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