Manhattan bedevils bid for pope street

March 27, 2007 at 2:55 PM

NEW YORK, March 27 (UPI) -- A bid to rename New York's East 72nd Street to Pope John Paul II Street has been flatly denied despite the pontiff's affiliation with the street.

A community board turned down the request of John Fiorilla, a resident of the area, who presented his petition with 100 letters of support Monday night, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

Fiorilla said the board announced it has a strict policy of declining all street name change requests, even if it was for the most popular pontiff in recent history.

He said he was surprised, as there are numerous other streets in the area named for famous people.

"I thought this would be appropriate for East 72nd Street -- the Holy See (Vatican) Mission has been on East 72nd Street for the last 20 years," he said, adding Pope John Paul stayed there on a visit to New York in 1995.

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