ST. Nicholas: The little church liberals forgot about (and now too busy falling over self to help Islamists build a victory mosque); Church Renews Fight Over Ground Zero Site

Posted on December 7, 2010


(The parish before it perished. – StNicholasNYC.com)

ST. Nicholas: The little church liberals forgot about.

For the Greek Orthodox Church, tomorrow, December 6th is the feast of St. Nicholas. In the Greek Orthodox Church, parishes are named after saints, and celebrate the feast day of their saint.

Tomorrow, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in New York will celebrate the Parish’s name day.  But St. Nicholas has no building to meet in. 

For those not familiar with the story of St. Nicholas, the little Greek Orthodox Church that sat in the shadow of the world trade center and was destroyed as the Twin Towers collapsed on 9/11.

For nine years, St. Nicholas has been in limbo.  While the liberal establishment in New York falls all over itself to help Muslims build a victory mosque, little St. Nicholas remains ignored.

For almost ten years, St. Nicholas has tried to rebuild.  The New York Port Authority has been difficult to work with, to put it mildly. For two years, the Port Authority has not even spoken to the Church.

Now, the Church property has been taken over and the space to be used for a parking garage and loading dock.   Meanwhile, the builders of the 9/11 victory Mosque have asked for Federal Funding.  So far, they have not been turned down.

The outrage continues.  Only in the bizzaro world of the Obama era would this happen.  Only in a liberal controlled area like New York City would a Christian Church destroyed by Muslim terrorists not be rebuilt and a victory mosque be considered for Federal funding and hailed as a beacon of tolerance.

We need to show support for St. Nicholas.  If you are in New York City, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese will have vespers services on the site of St. Nicholas Monday afternoon at 2 PM.

We can also remind the parishioners of St. Nicholas they are not forgotten.  In this Christmas season, grab an extra Christmas card and send it to St. Nicholas.  You can send the card to:

                                                St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

                                                C/O The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese

                                                8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075

Forward this email to your friends and ask them to send a card as well.

The fact that this little Church, nine years after the terrorists attacks, has not been rebuilt, remains an outrage.    Tell the parishioners of St. Nicholas, patriotic Americans stand with them this Christmas.

Church Renews Fight Over Site

St. Nicholas Tries to Get Port Authority to Abide by Preliminary 2008 Agreement

By JOSH BARBANEL – WSJ Dec 7, 2010

The leaders of St. Nicholas Church, the small whitewashed Greek Orthodox Church destroyed by falling debris on Sept. 11, 2001, have begun legal action against the Port Authority demanding that the church be rebuilt under the terms of a deal worked out several years ago.

Orthodox Church deacons during a service at Ground Zero Sunday to pray for the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Church, which was destroyed on 9/11.

A claim filed against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey by church leaders and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on Monday accused the agency, which is overseeing Ground Zero’s rebuilding, of engaging in “arrogance, bad faith and fraudulent conduct” and “shabby and unlawful treatment.”

Under state law, the church is required to file a notice of claim against the Port Authority for some of its claims, and wait 60 days before it can go to court, according to Mark. G. Cunha, a lawyer for the church.

In 2008, after years of discussions, the Port Authority and the church announced an agreement to rebuild the church, which was originally located on Cedar Street, on a nearby site on Liberty Street. As part of the deal, the Port Authority said it would pay $20 million toward the cost of the new church.

But in March, the deal fell through. The Port Authority accused the church of making excessive demands, while church leaders say the Port Authority unilaterally withdrew from negotiations.

John Kelly, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said officials hadn’t yet seen the filing and couldn’t comment on it. But he said: “We very much hope the Orthodox Church rebuilds on their original site.”

In papers served on Monday the church is now seeking to compel the Port Authority to live up to the terms of what the church said is a “binding preliminary agreement.”

It said that even after the Port Authority backed away from the agreement, the authority began digging in the site of the old church and is trespassing “without permission, notice or any legal justification.” The underground portion of the old church site is part of what is to become an underground vehicle security center, where trucks entering the site would be searched.

“Filing a lawsuit is not something that we really want to do,” said the Rev. Mark Arey, the ecumenical officer for the archdiocese and a spokesman for the church. “We have come to this point because we have been ignored and bullied.”

As a measure of the frayed relations between the Port Authority and the church, the suit cites a series of alleged civil-rights and constitutional violations, including the charge that the Port Authority had interfered with the church’s right to freely exercise religion. It also accuses the Port Authority of defaming the church.

In addition to the Port Authority, the claim also names the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. as a potential defendant. The LMDC said it didn’t have a comment on the matter.

The church traces its roots to Greek immigrants in 1916, and services began on the Cedar Street site in 1922. On Sunday, scores of families from St. Nicholas and other nearby churches gathered at Ground Zero in a vigil to pray for the rebuilding on the church on the eve of the annual feast day of St. Nicholas.

How Un-Orthodox: Greek Church May Sue Port Authority Over Ground Zero Site

By Matt Chaban

December 6, 2010 | 9:25 a.m.

Which is more tragic: The destruction of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church across the street from the World Trade Center, or the struggles of the parisioners to have it rebuilt?

In the grand scheme of Ground Zero rebuilding, the church is both literally and figuratively the least of the Port Authority’s concerns. The transit agency has four huge towers, a memorial, a transit hub and a security network to oversee. This may explain why the authority broke off negotiations with the church two years ago so it could begin work on a security center that will screen all vehicles making deliveries to the 16-acre site. The church was once located where the screening center is now planned.

Now St. Nicholas is preparing to sue the authority to win its land back, according to DNAinfo. That possibility seems remote, given security center construction, but a deal for another site or reparations might be struck in the courts. The Port Authority said it has once again reached out to try and address the issue, but there appears to be some confusion:

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said two months ago that he planned to restart negotiations with the church soon, and a Port spokesman said Friday the agency recently sent a letter to the church.

But Arey said none of the church’s leaders or anyone at the archdiocese had received a letter.

“I don’t know where they sent it,” [church spokesman Mark] Arey said. “There has been absolute silence.”

Perhaps the Port sent the letter to the church’s old address.

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