A Roman Catholic shrine in New York’s Mohawk Valley has turned down a tourism grant after questions were raised about church-state separation.
The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors awarded the $750 grant in February to the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville.
Officials believe 5,000 people will come to the shrine when Kateri Tekakwitha is canonized as a saint on Oct. 21. She was a Mohawk Indian who lived nearby.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State claimed the grant violated the First Amendment.
A local official proposed a resolution saying the grant would only be used for sectarian purposes.
But shrine spokesman Beth Lynch said the new conditions made it impossible to take the money.The Associated Press