Future of destroyed Ground Zero Orthodox church in doubt

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NEW YORK (RNS) Buried by falling rubble from the World Trade Center towers after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, all that remained of the tiny St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church were some candles, two icons and a bell clapper. These salvaged artifacts are being kept at the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America while […]

  • Cradle Catholic

    It is outrageous this has taken so long, and that efforts to rebuild have been met with reluctance to cooperate on the part of city officials, et al. They are merely trying to replace what was already there. Why hasn’t the President and his administration weighed in on this issue, since he spoke up about the mosque?

    JUSTICE FOR ALL. At least we know who is paying for THIS project, unlike the Cordoba, oh wait… it’s Park 51 now. But call it what they may, it will be seen as a trophy, and a slap in the face to victims of 9-11, their families, and people on the world stage, that know history.

    I know someone that went to 8 funerals after 9-11 – all children of her friends that had been killed. 5 were women; one of them was pregnant.

    If for no other reason, backers of this project ought to move the mosque to another location. That would be the charitable thing to do. City officials should expedite the building of this church, getting it back to how it was before Sept. 11.

  • Jewells

    Google….”The Battle of Lepanto”….and please read this story. It might be Lepanta…but read the story…find a good source.

  • mary graham


  • PennyG

    cradle catholic. They are not “merely trying to replace what was already there”. The building plans went from a small church to a SIX STORY domed building that they expected public funding to help support the cost of the rebuild. That’s more than merely replacing what was there. That is a complete overhaul.

  • Cradle Catholic

    Penny – I didn’t explain myself well. What I meant was it was a church before, and they want to rebuild the church now. I wasn’t referring to size.

    It was destroyed due to no fault of their own. Being forced to start over, it makes sense they design a church that meets their current needs.

    Whereas, the proposed mosque – so well supported by POLITICIANS, in spite of the angst it is causing to many Americans – is being put on the fast track, and, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it too is much taller than the previous building that was destroyed? Most importantly, it was NOT a mosque before.

    If it were always a mosque, and they merely wanted to replace it, even making it larger, as is the case with the Orthodox church, there would be no need for as many people to reject the idea. But it’s not.

    There is a huge difference between the Orthodox church and the mosque. Developers of the mosque bought the property at a steal, because it was destroyed. Officials are bending over backwards to accomodate their request. Yet the Orthodox church was destroyed at no fault of their own, and the officials are stalling. It’s not acceptable.

  • PennyG

    I’ve actually read up a lot on this issue and again we are talking about PUBLIC funding. Funding that they do not have now. I think that many people are forgetting how much money talks. If the money is not available to support the rebuilding then how are they supposed to do it?

    Re: officials bending over backward – that is simple economics really. This is a privately funded venture that will generate revenue for the city bringing in more tax dollars.

    St. Nicholas has raised 4 of over 75 million dollars expecting public funding to cover at least 55mil of that amount.

    I realize that this is a national disaster but do homeowners with their homes destroyed by a disaster expect the public to fund what their insurance doesn’t cover? No, it would be ridiculous to expect that.

    The church claims its a “modest structure” i have yet to see anything that is 26,000SF with marbled walls and a domed roof be considered anything close to modest.

    See I think it really comes down to money in all honesty. Right now (and from its inception) Park51 has the financing in place to make it happen. St. Nicholas, does not because it is tied up in bureaucracy due to the fact that these are public funds.

    Without question it is a tragedy but there are many factors in play.

    1) Public funding
    2) location issues
    3) Security concerns
    4) the fact that the area immediately surrounding ground zero has 26 construction projects designed when it effects one of them it effects all of them and reworking something on that kind of scale takes a lot of time and money.

  • Cradle Catholic

    Penny- thank you for the insightful reply and the additional data. It’s helpful to have a fuller picture about the Orthodox church plans.

    Regarding the Cordoba-Park51 mosque- even if they have funds in place to build mosques in every state, they ought not insist on the 9-11 site, if only out of charity.

    It will be interesting to see how reasonable those developers can be, under the circumstances.

  • PennyG


    I’m glad I could help fill in some details for you. I think that is probably the biggest problem going on overall about this. There is SO much mis/disinformation being broadcast that I doubt that anyone is getting an accurate picture of what is happening.

    It will indeed be interesting to see how this plays out.

  • Jewells

    EWTN is doing a thing on the Battle of Lepanto right now! What a story and testimony to the rosary….it saved Europe from radical Islam way back then. Celebrated October 7th.

  • mary graham


  • Cradle Catholic

    Let’s pray for angels to help Catholic-Christians to clean up our own church messes too! We need transparency and accountability among the hierarchy, and less of a top-down mode of (parental) authority.

    Until Jesus is the HEAD, and the Bible (in context) as the manual we use for governing, Lord, bring on the angels to clean up the RCC!

    Pew Catholics need help and protection from too many power-hungry and UNholy men that claim to speak for God.

    For the record, I am not speaking of women in the priesthood. There is NO Scriptural basis for the ordination of women (except, perhaps for the role of deacon) and there is NO UNIVERSAL Tradition for it either. That said, priests should be married men, with children.

    For evidence, I offer 1Corinthians 9:5, 1Timothy 3:1-5 and Titus 1. In UNIVERSAL Church Tradition, the concept of celibacy only crept into the church when pagans holding celibacy to be a superior state, converted to Christianity. They brought the idea with them, and by 1139, unmarried priests became the norm.

    PennyG – about FACTS being useful: St. Patrick was the grandson of a Roman Catholic priest and the son of a Roman Catholic deacon. Maybe EWTN can do a special on why priests should be married men?

    We need FACTS about everything. Too much goes unsaid. PennyG- your FACTS about the church are useful. Again, many thanks.

  • PennyG

    Thank you Cradle Catholic, I could not agree more.

    Be Blessed 🙂

  • Jewells

    Google….”Flavius Josephus and the Essenes”….and you can read about how the holy Essenes were celibate. They were not all celibate….many were married and had children. But many lived lives of deep prayer, contemplation and union with God and were celibate. Many researchers and historians believe there is a strong connection between the Essenes and Catholicism.

  • Cradle Catholic

    Thank you for the references. Also – the best book I read about celibacy was written in 2009 by layman Edgar Davie, called “Illicit Celibacy and The Deposit of Faith”. You can read about it on Amazon.com + I think the web site is http://www.illicitcelibacy.com

    Regarding Davies’ facts – NO theologian will take his challenge to discuss the facts he brings out in his book, though he gets good reviews from men such as A. W. Richard Sipe, who had been a Benedictine for around 18 years, and who has played a huge role in drawing attention to the ailments that face our church.

    Sipe doesn’t give OPINION one way or the other regarding the practice of celibacy. But he gives DATA on his 50 years of stuyding the practice, seeing how it is NOT working.

    That the Roman church in America is trying to stop pedophiles and ephidopiles (attraction to post-adolescent boys) is not cause for joy. In almost every society, the attraction of adults to children or young teens is frowned upon. The Roman church cleaning up its act (after public pressure and exposure) is long overdue.

    Priests ought not be having sex AT ALL, with ANYONE outside of the confines of marriage. If the public finds out how many priests are having sexual relations with WOMEN (even fathering children, and dumping them and their responsibility to their offspring) – the numbers will be staggering, and will make the data regarding pedophile priests pale, by comparison.

    I know someone who, when in the “know”, told me some priestly orders pay for vascetomies and sexual performance enhancing drugs for their clerics (Viagra). Leading double lives is not uncommon.

    So having seminaries full right now is also not cause for joy. Look at the economy. My gut tells me if jobs were more plentiful, many of these recruits would bolt for life outside the clerical environment, and until the (sham) promise of celibacy is lifted, these men can have it both ways, and be rewarded for it – at least here on earth, until it’s time to pay the piper for their embrace of a double life.

    Scripture and church history warns us about the Essenes mindset affecting the mainstream church. “Illicit Celibacy and the Deposit of Faith” chronicled the history of it, year by year. It’s not an easy read-but it gives TONS of facts, & is worth having for reference.

    Mandatory celibacy is not only a joke – it simply does not work. Check out what St. Peter Damian had to say about wandering clergy in his “Book of Gomorrah”. The Vatican has had warning about what we face now, for generations.

    Glad to be on the same page. I really am a Cradle Catholic and love my church.

  • Jewells

    We just need to keep praying for our Church to be cleansed and healed. So many things have crept in. Read Marcia’s story at http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org because even though she is not Catholic….she was in the thick of it really does see all of this stuff creeping into Christianity in general. Pray about this too….just like the former issues mentioned. But read her personal story at http://WWW.CHRISTIANANSWERSFORTHENEWAGE.ORG….she has a powerful story to share. Keep the faith and keep up the prayers! Peace!