New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is under fire for excluding spiritual leaders from the upcoming memorial service commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
The Wall Street Journal reports that New York City Council member Fernando Cabrera, a pastor in the Bronx, was shocked by the mayor's decision.
"When you have a situation where people are trying to find meaning, where something is bigger than them, when you have a crisis of this level, they often look to the clergy," Cabrera said.
He added that excluding religious leader was "wiping out the recognition of the importance that spirituality plays on that day."
Evelyn Erskine, a spokeswoman for the mayor, explained that officials want the day to focus on the families who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks.
"There are hundreds of important people that have offered to participate over the last nine years," she said. "But the focus remains on the families of the thousands who died on Sept. 11."