Group protests mayor's invitation to pope
- Associated Press
- March 12, 2014 - 1:45 PM
GREEN BAY, Wis. — A group that promotes separation of church and state is protesting an invitation Green Bay's mayor extended to Pope Francis.
Freedom From Religion Foundation, of Madison, told Mayor Jim Schmitt his invitation to the pope to visit Green Bay is "grossly inappropriate" because Schmitt serves all citizens of Green Bay — including atheists.
Schmitt said the group's protest won't dissuade him from continuing to pursue the papal visit, the Press-Gazette Media (http://gbpg.net/1lU6ddr ) reported.
"We see an opportunity to elevate the city," Schmitt said. "And I'm going to take advantage of those opportunities."
The mayor wants the pope to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help when he is expected to travel to the U.S. in September 2015. The Green Bay site is the only one in the country recognized by the church for a Virgin Mary apparition. Schmitt also hopes the pope will consider holding a Mass at Lambeau Field.
Freedom From Religion has also filed an open records request seeking any communications related to the invitation, including letters, emails and call records, memos, plans or financial records. The organization also wants records on the website popetogreenbay.com and copies of city policies concerning the use of paid time for non-city-related tasks.
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