State Agency Expects to Give WTC Site for Church by 2013

(Photo Credit: Dimitrios Panagos/Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America)Gov. Mario Cuomo of the State of New York (center) announced a final agreement to rebuild St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at the World Trade Center site as Archbishop Demetrios of America looks on in New York City on October 19, 2012.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey hopes to turn over the World Trade Center site for the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in 2013, a year from now after construction on the foundation is complete, according to New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.

Gov. Cuomo, who said the final agreement on the rebuilding of the Church was signed on Thursday, made the announcement on Friday at a joint luncheon of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and National Philoptochos Board at the New York Hilton.

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America thanked Gov. Cuomo for being "instrumental" in the process of "helping St. Nicholas Church be resurrected."

"[W]hen 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," he said.

Gov. Cuomo, who said construction on the foundation would begin immediately, noted that the archbishop had waged a "remarkable" fight to rebuild the church for over a decade.

"You fought the bureaucracy, numerous governors, numerous heads of the Port Authority and you wouldn't take 'no' for an answer and you kept coming back and kept coming back," he said.

He also added: "And, what was most beautiful, it wasn't for you, it wasn't about a monetary gain, it wasn't because someone was going to be advanced, it was the fundamental belief of the Greek community, which is about community and faith and philanthropy."

Copyright © 2013 Ecumenical News