Vigil protests lack of clergy prayer at 9/11 event

September 10, 2011 - 11:10 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Religious leaders are protesting New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's decision not to include a clergy-led prayer in the city's ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

About two dozen ministers gathered Saturday in front of St. Paul's Chapel in lower Manhattan. The group planned to walk to the edge of ground zero and hold a prayer service there.

The Rev. Rob Schenck notes that clergy members ministered to people in New York after the attacks. He says it was hurtful not to include religious leaders in Sunday's ceremony.

Bloomberg has said he wants to keep the focus of the ceremony on victims' families. Organizers say the event will include spiritual readings and six minutes of silence for personal reflection or prayer.