April 16, 2014

Agreement Reached on Rebuilding St. Nicholas in New York City

St. Nicholas Church

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church that was destroyed in the terrorist attack on 9/11 will be rebuilt. This is good. Archbishop Demetrios said that "when St. Nicholas Church is completed it will be a place of praying, a place of comfort, openness and reconciliation where the relatives of the almost three thousand victims of 9/11 can come and light a candle." This is even better. My hope has always been that the rebuilt St. Nicholas would become the spiritual locus of those remembering the suffering of 9/11 (see Ground Zero is American Holy Ground). Catastrophes of that scale and magnitude need to reference God in some way or another in order to make sense of them and know where to go from here. If the vision is indeed as expansive as Abp. Demetrios indicates it might be, St. Nicholas may become a touchstone for people of all faiths, not just the Orthodox. Hope could be fostered. This would be best of all. NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo Announces the Signing of Final … [Read more...]

James Taranto: Common sense is to be avoided just because it is common

James Taranto in Oikophobia: Why the liberal elite finds Americans revolting (from the Wall Street Journal, available for seven days only) discusses the cultural divide made evident by the Ground Zero Mosque debate and what it reveals about America's self-appointed elites. Read Besieged liberals resort to their last refuge: the bigotry charge by Charles Krauthammer piece referenced by Taranto. Listen here: … [Read more...]

George Patsourakos: Get St. Nicholas rebuilt!

"New York state and its Port Authority officials need to hang their heads in shame," says George Patsourakos, on his blog Theology and Society. Patsourakos, a regular commentator on the AOI blog writes: The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center -- attacks by extremist Muslims -- resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans. Nevertheless, New York state and Port Authority officials are seriously considering building a mosque at this very site. To even consider having a mosque at this site shows a heartless and unsympathetic attitude and disrespect by these officials toward the innocent victims who were killed there on 9/11 by Muslim terrorists. Having a mosque at Ground Zero is a very similar situation to having a Nazi Monument next to the Holocaust Museum. Both of these ideas should be put to rest, because they are an insult to their victims. Meanwhile, New York officials have shown little or no interest in rebuilding St. Nicholas Greek … [Read more...]

George Demos – Governor Pataki Ground Zero Press Conference

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Former Gov. Pataki, George Demos: We Must Rebuild Greek Orthodox Church At Ground Zero: Updated »

Source: New York Daily News By Celeste Katz (Many thanks to our Erik Badia for his help with this report:) Former Gov. George Pataki joined NY-1 congressional hopeful George Demos and clergy at the former site of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in an attempt to get stalled negotiations between the Port Authority and the church going again. "I'm calling on the Port Authority officials to sit down with the church leadership," Pataki said as he stood with Demos and Bishop Andonios of Phasiane. "We must rebuild St. Nicholas and we must do it here at the World Trade Center site," Pataki said. "It's incredibly disappointing to me that almost nine years later, not only is it not underway, but there haven't been negotiations between church officials and the Port Authority for over a year." Bishop Andonios said he is hopeful that with the help of Pataki and Demos, they can move talks forward on St. Nicholas: "It is a house of worship not simply for the Greek Orthodox … [Read more...]

Moral Myopia at Ground Zero

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Source: National Review Online By Charles Krauthammer Supporters of the mosque fail to see its true significance. It’s hard to be an Obama sycophant these days. Your hero delivers a Ramadan speech roundly supporting the building of a mosque and Islamic center at Ground Zero in New York. Your heart swells and you’re moved to declare this President Obama’s finest hour, his act of greatest courage. Alas, the next day, at a remove of 800 miles, Obama explains that he was only talking about the legality of the thing and not the wisdom — upon which he does not make, and will not make, any judgment. You’re left looking like a fool because now Obama has said exactly nothing: No one disputes the right to build; the whole debate is about the propriety, the decency of doing so. It takes no courage whatsoever to bask in the applause of a Muslim audience as you promise to stand stoutly for their right to build a mosque, giving the unmistakable … [Read more...]

God and Man at Ground Zero

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Source: Hot Air By J.E. Dyer In which a bemused observer tries to make sense of man, religion, and the state Here’s my bottom-line problem with the concatenation of events and trends surrounding the Ground Zero mosque: I see privilege being accorded to Islam, as against situations in which the civil authorities have de-privileged Christianity and Judaism. The reflexive animus against America’s traditional major religions will be recognizable, in what I describe below, to every conservative. Yet in a situation where a very large group of Americans objects to the placement of a particular mosque, government authorities not only don’t privilege the objectors, they castigate them as bigots and override their concerns. We can stipulate at the outset that none of the situations here is exactly analogous. The situation involving synagogues is not even in Manhattan; it’s in Brighton Beach. But in each case, the reflexes of the civil authorities have responded very differently, and the … [Read more...]

Why no support for Ground Zero church from Giannoulias?

Illinois Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias made waves earlier this week when he announced his support for the Ground Zero Mosque. Giannoulias’s support for the mosque isn’t particularly surprising; he’s far behind his Republican opponent, Mark Kirk, in the money race and can’t afford to alienate the White House, or risk no more presidential fundraising trips.  The people who should be surprised are Giannoulias’s Greek supporters, particularly those who call New York City home. You see, as Fox News reported today, the only house of worship that was actually destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks was a Greek Orthodox church, Saint Nicholas. And while the mosque cleared city red tape earlier this month, Port Authority officials have been dragging their feet for years on rebuilding Saint Nicholas. “We have people that are saying, why isn’t our church being rebuilt and why is there ... such concern for people of the mosque?” Father Alex Karloutsos, … [Read more...]

Krauthammer: Sacrilege at Ground Zero

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Source: National Review Online A place is made sacred by a widespread belief that it was visited by the miraculous or the transcendent (Lourdes, the Temple Mount), by the presence there once of great nobility and sacrifice (Gettysburg), or by the blood of martyrs and the indescribable suffering of the innocent (Auschwitz). When we speak of Ground Zero as hallowed ground, what we mean is that it belongs to those who suffered and died there — and that such ownership obliges us, the living, to preserve the dignity and memory of the place, never allowing it to be forgotten, trivialized, or misappropriated. That’s why Disney’s early ’90s proposal to build an American history theme park near Manassas Battlefield was defeated by a broad coalition fearing vulgarization of the Civil War (and wiser than me; at the time I obtusely saw little harm in the venture). It’s why the commercial viewing tower built right on the border of Gettysburg was taken down by the Park Service. It’s why, … [Read more...]

Ground Zero is American Holy Ground. No Mosque Near Ground Zero

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This is my essay that appeared on Catholic Online today. Don't Let Muslims Define 9-11 NAPLES (Catholic Online) - Muslims have it over secularists, but not Christians - at least the clear thinking ones anyway. The Muslim proposal to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero is not only an affront to all people who died there, but another chapter in a cultural jihad that seeks to replace the cultural traditions of Christendom with Sharia, the code of law derived from the Koran and from the teachings and example of Mohammed. First the caveats. Yes, most Muslims are not jihadists; they may see the non-Muslim as an infidel but won't resort to violence to defeat him. Yes, Muslim believers pose no threat to American cultural norms and legal structures as long as their numbers remain small. Yes, every Muslim citizen should be afforded the rights due to all Americans regardless of their religion. The $100 million mosque however, represents more than religious freedom. Named … [Read more...]

No Mosque at Ground Zero

Tough words, certainly politically incorrect, but true. Source: Jihad Watch. Pat Condell on Ground Zero mosque: "Is it possible to be astonished, but not surprised?" … [Read more...]

Archbishop Demetrios to hold memorial service at Ground Zero

NEW YORK -- His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America will hold a memorial service on Friday, September 11, at 2:30 p.m. at Ground Zero on the site of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only religious edifice destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. The location where the service will be held is near Gate 7, corner of Greenwich and Liberty Streets at Ground Zero. Source: Worldwide Faith News … [Read more...]