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Gov. Pataki, Archbishop Demetrios Discuss Future Plans for St. Nicholas Church

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Nov 20, 2001

NEW YORK – Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and Governor George Pataki met yesterday, November 19, at the governor’s Manhattan offices to discuss the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, including the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church that was destroyed in the collapse of the Twin Towers.

His Eminence said in a press conference following their meeting that he initiated the meeting to convey his appreciation to Gov. Pataki for his efforts in dealing with the tragedy and to “share our thoughts and our plans concerning St. Nicholas, which was the only religious building directly affected, in view of the tremendous national and international interest in the rebuilding of the church.”

Archbishop Demetrios said the Archdiocese has received “very serious donations” toward the reconstruction of the church and that “contributions continue to come in… there is no problem with funding.”

He also noted that the rebuilt house of worship would have to serve a function beyond that of a parish church, to that of a worship space for prayer and as a memorial.

Gov. Pataki spoke of the historic nature of St. Nicholas Church and that it is “important to be part of the future” in the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site and that he would “make sure St. Nicholas is part of the planning.”

He also said, “We can never forget that at this site almost 5,000 people lost their lives and we can never forget that important relics were lost at the site of St. Nicholas. We have to incorporate all these concerns in the redevelopment.” The governor added, “His Eminence would be part of the rebuilding process.”

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