On 18 Aug 10, The Providence Journal reported that St Nicholas Church, a small Greek Orthodox Church which was destroyed as a result of the World Trade Center terrorist attack, is still waiting for action by the Port Authority so that they might begin to rebuild. The report related that some Greek Orthodox Christians are confused why the church, which pre-dates the World Trade Center, is in bureaucratic limbo while so much attention is being paid to a a Muslim group seeking to build an 11-story mosque a couple of blocks from ground zero.
The report related a lack of communication between the church and the Port Authority. The Port Authority painted the church as being overly demanding by wanting to review plans for a Vehicle Security Center to be built under the church site. The church, on the other hand, contends it has done everything asked by the Port Authority and does not understand why previous commitments by the Port Authority are apparently off the table.
A 17 Aug 10 FOX News report related that, “While the mosque project cleared red tape earlier this month, negotiations between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the church stalled last year -- and will not be revived, according to government officials.”
The FOX News report quoted Father Alex Karloutsos, assistant to the archbishop, as saying, “We have people that are saying, why isn't our church being rebuilt and why is there ... such concern for people of the mosque?"
According to an 18 Aug 10, New York Times article, it is now seven years since the parish has had a place to gather. The article noted that “on the day in the liturgical calendar that honors the namesake of their church,” the parish “worshiped in a white tent pitched on the south edge of ground zero.” The report stated, “Emphasizing the commitment of government to help rebuild St. Nicholas, the ceremony was attended by Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler and Anthony E. Shorris, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.”
The article also quoted Archbishop Demetrios, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, as saying, “May we be deemed worthy soon to celebrate not under a tent but in the new church of St. Nicholas.”
The report related that the church presented an Eric O’Connell photograph of the final moments of the church on 9/11, which also displayed the twin towers burning in the background, to the Tribute WTC Visitor Center. The article quoted Lee Ielpi, a visitor center founder who accepted the print, as saying “It says something in the background of what hatred can do, but it says something in the foreground of what love and faith can do,”
(In all that may confuse us, in all that may lead us astray, Jesus gave us a means to recognize false prophets among us. He told his disciples, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." Those who preach hate, those who preach a culture of death, reveal themselves for what they are. -- Prayer Soldier)
Cited Articles and Posts
The Providence Journal (18 Aug 10)
New York Times (18 Aug 10)
FOX News (17 Aug 10)