New York, NY - His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, who was returning by car from Boston to New York City when he learned the horrible news of the terrorist attacks on New Yorks World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, DC, responded with the following statement:
This is a tragedy of tremendous proportions with unforeseeable consequences for the entire world. The terrorist acts that took place today incite the justified indignation of all people who value human life, freedom and justice. In this difficult time I express, along with the entire Greek Orthodox Church, our deep sorrow and strong support to the families who were hurt by this unprecedented tragedy.
We fervently pray to God, the Lord of peace, love and justice, to grant to the families of the innocent victims and to the entire American Nation abundant solace and unlimited strength.
Archbishop Demetrios directed all Greek Orthodox churches throughout the country to open during this day of national crisis and directed the clergy to lead the faithful in prayer for divine protection against the sword and enemy invasion, and for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives in these attacks. The Archbishop furthermore encouraged those whose health permits to donate blood for the wounded survivors.
In the Archbishops absence, the Very Reverend Savas Zembillas, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, led the Archdiocesan staff in prayer during a memorial service in the Chapel of Saint Paul. At the conclusion of the service, Father Savas urged those present to pray without ceasing for the victims, the survivors, the families who had lost loved ones, and for the safety of our nation during this time of unspeakable tragedy.