Amid Mosque Furor, Pleas for Church at Ground Zero

Greek Orthodox church was destroyed on 9/11
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2010 10:33 AM CDT
Amid Mosque Furor, Pleas for Church at Ground Zero
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church stands near the base of the World Trade Center towers in New York in this undated photo. The church was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks.   (AP Photo/St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church)

The Greek Orthodox Church has seized on the “Ground Zero mosque” controversy to push for the rebuilding of a church that actually was at Ground Zero. Two Church officials yesterday appeared with a pair of Republican politicians to call for the rebuilding of the St. Nicholas Church, which was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. Both the politicians—former Gov. George Pataki, and obscure would-be congressman George Demos—are ardent Park51 foes, who explicitly contrasted it with the church project.

“We don’t know the funding” of the Cordoba House, Pataki argued. “We don’t know the view of the people behind it.” Demos went further, asserting, without evidence, that the church was funded by Saudi Arabia. But the Greek Orthodox bishop with them expressed discomfort with that rhetoric, and their anti-mosque stance, the New York Times reports. “To us, this is an opportunity for everyone—to see some progress in our negotiations with Port Authority,” he said. “But also, for the people involved in the mosque … to dialogue with the community.” (More George Pataki stories.)

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