Voices from Russia

Friday, 31 October 2014

Work Starts on Ground Zero Church Destroyed in 9/11 Attacks

00.0g 9.11 Remembered. World Trade Center. 12.09.12


St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in lower Manhattan, destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will reopen in 2016. Church and political leaders broke ground on the new building two weeks ago, which will stand on the corner of Liberty and Greenwich streets. Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis, Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and First Hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOAA), recalled walking through the church site 13 years ago, after it was destroyed by rubble from the fallen towers. According to the HuffPo, he said during the groundbreaking ceremony, “We remember this very place filled with ruins, hiding under piles of debris, the pulverised remains of 3,000 innocent victims. Breathing a very heavy air, saturated with the dust of storm, wood, iron and with tiny particles of human bodies, we remember walking with heavy hearts to the specific place where our St Nicholas stood as a building. …The church wasn’t there. We stood there frozen, paralysed, and cried”.

The new church will be a 4,100-square-foot (380 square metres) domed building that can fit about 150 people… about twice the capacity of the old church. The space will also include a nonsectarian meditation area. Archbishop Demetrios said, “It’ll be a refuge for people in need of spiritual comfort, regardless of their specific beliefs or unbeliefs”. Former New York Governor George Pataki described the significance of rebuilding St Nicholas, “We had remembrance, we had commerce, but without St Nicholas, we didn’t have faith. Well, now, today, we have remembrance, we have commerce, we have that rock, we have faith, right here at St Nicholas. It was the Greek city-states that gave us our belief today in freedom. It’ll now be the Greek Orthodox Church that’s the rock of faith that anchors all that is done here at Ground Zero”.

St Nicholas raised 7 million USD (295 million Roubles. 43 million Renminbi. 430 million INR. 7.85 million CAD. 7.95 million AUD. 5.6 million Euros. 4.4 million UK Pounds) of the 38 million USD (1.6 billion Roubles. 233 million Renminbi. 2.33 billion INR. 42.6 million CAD. 43.2 million AUD. 30.3 million Euros. 23.8 million UK Pounds) needed to rebuild the church. You can make donations towards the rebuilding at the GOAA website.

30 October 2014

Christian Today


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Site for New Greek Orthodox Church Near WTC Site Blessed by Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis

00 Architectural Rendering. St Nicholas Greek Orthodox. NYC. 31.10.13


On Saturday, hundreds of New York City’s Greek Orthodox Christians attended a blessing for a new church site near Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan, to replace St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, destroyed in the 9/11 terror attacks. In remarks at the site, Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis, the First Hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOAA), recalled his dismay when, on 12 September 2001, he and other clergy visited the spot where St Nicholas church stood since the early 20th Century. The collapse of the Twin Towers crushed the tiny structure, making it the only church destroyed in the attack. Archbishop Demetrios said, “We stood there frozen, paralysed. There was a big hole instead of a church. It left a terrible kind of impression”.

More than 13 years later, work started on a larger 38 million USD (1.55 billion Roubles. 233 million Renminbi. 2.34 billion INR. 42.9 million CAD. 43.5 million AUD. 29.8 million Euros. 23.6 million UK Pounds) domed church designed by famed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava intended to serve both as a new home for the Greek Orthodox parish and as a national non-denominational shrine for Ground Zero visitors. The dome made of glass and white marble will be backlit from within so that it glows at night. Archbishop Demetrios said, “It’ll be a refuge for people in need of spiritual comfort regardless of their specific beliefs, or unbeliefs. Above all, this resurrected St Nicholas church will be a monument declaring the victory of good over evil, of love over hatred”. Those in attendance included Calatrava, US Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), former NY State Governor George Pataki, former NYC Mayor David Dinkins, and various other New York and New Jersey politicians. Pataki, who was governor at the time of the attack, said the church was an important addition to the memorials and skyscrapers that rose in recent years at the WTC noting, “We had remembrance, we had commerce, but without St Nicholas, we didn’t have faith”.

Greek immigrants founded the original church in 1916 and began services at its 1,200-square-foot (112 square metres) site on Cedar Street in 1922. After its destruction, a legal dispute between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the GOAA over the original site delayed rebuilding. In 2011, the parties struck a deal in which the church agreed to exchange land on Cedar Street for the rights to another parcel on Liberty Street, just south of the National September 11 Memorial Museum. Calatrava also conceived the Port Authority 4 billion USD (163 billion Roubles. 24.5 billion Renminbi. 246 billion INR. 4.51 billion CAD. 4.57 billion AUD. 3.14 billion Euros. 2.5 billion UK Pounds) WTC transportation hub. The church chose him for the project after he submitted a plan that drew inspiration from two New Roman shrines in Constantinople (now Istanbul)… Hagia Sophia and the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora. Church officials said that donations from around the world funded construction, including 260,000 USD (10.6 billion Roubles. 1.6 million Renminbi. 16 million INR. 293,000 CAD. 297,000 AUD. 204,000 Euros. 162,000 UK Pounds) from the Greek government. They expect the shrine to open within the next two years.

18 October 2014

Tom Hays

Associated Press



Wednesday, 13 March 2013

13 March 2013. Shall the OCA Holy Synod Act in re Ray Velencia? He HAS been Suspended, After All

01 See no Evil


I’ve gotten good feedback from my last post on Ray Velencia. Sources tell me that Archbishop Demetrios of the GOAA does know of the situation, as he was informed of Ray’s suspension when it happened in January 2012, as Ray was already floating around Greek parishes and summer camps. The OCA and the GOAA were both informed of Ray’s continuing and continuous violations of his suspension. How many violations will it take before they actually do something?

It’s time for the Holy Synod to shit or get off the pot. It’s time to haul Ray in… and if he refuses to come, the HS should then move to defrock him without his presence. You see, no other religious body would tolerate such rebellion from a disgraced clergyman under its jurisdiction. Ray has cocked a snoot at the HS… with the aid of the GOAA. It’s time for the OCA to enlist the Centre in this fight… that’s why the OCA’s spurious “autocephaly” has been detrimental in fighting the EP’s aggrandisement.

We’re paying dearly for the OCA Holy Synod’s dereliction of its duty. It’s time for at least one of the honest bishops to speak up, even if the craven bishops shout him down and/or refuse to help him. If one bishop proved himself a man, then, it’d galvanise the believers.

What do I expect? Part of me says, “Nothing… they’re worthless apparatchiki and posturing poseurs (as one can see in the antics of Peterson, Moriak, and Maymon)”. Yet, there’s another part that still has hope. It’s faint to be sure… but is there ONE honest man amongst the Synod members? If so… speak up! The other bishops would hate you, but the believers would support you!

Frankly, it’s an outside chance, but I haven’t lost hope, yet…



Friday, 2 November 2012

2 November 2012. Blunder Visits SVS and GOAA… People Wonder Why Fathausen Does What He Does… We shouldn’t make Martyrs out of the Monomuckos Twits

The original low-res image on patriarchia.ru… the Blunder didn’t rate a “photo album” again. Poor baby…


Click here and here for the patriarchia.ru take on the Blunder’s peregrinations in the USA (again, these are from the Blunder’s Little Shop of Horrors, not the main MP media service). Demetrios Traketellis and the Blunder discussed the OCA… without any OCA clergy being present. There’s no report out on what they discussed, so speculation on it is bootless and futile. Nonetheless, it doesn’t bode well for the Syossset set. Later, the Blunder met with SVS Pooh-Bahs in a hotel in the City. Again, a whole lot of nothing was said, and nothing substantial came of it. When the Blunder emplaned for Moscow, no OCA clergy accompanied him to the airport, only Archbishop Yustinian Ovchinnikov and MP clergy. Again, it doesn’t bode well for the Syosset set (Lyonyo should have seen him off at the airport, but he’s too busy dealing with the fast-deteriorating situation with the Parma Sobor).

A Cabinet member asked:

Why does JP keep shooting himself in the foot?

A voice from the grapevine replied:

You don’t know? Well, neither do we. Their take seems to be, “[Rymer] wasn’t convicted of a crime, and that makes him a victim”.

I think that the grapevine has it right. No one knows why Fathausen keeps associating with dubious sorts. Let’s see… there was Podmoshensky… then, there was the HOOMies… the stories about Dimitri Royster won’t die (why did he build his cathedral in the gay side of town?)… then, we have this guy Rymer who had a sealed judgement against him. If this were the GOAA, there’d be no shilly-shallying. Rymer would get the boot, permanently, with no chance of getting back in. Hey, look at how the GOAA dealt with that perv in Ohio… there was no hesitation… he got the chop, and he got it right smartly, within the week. If Rymer has a judgement against him, he should go, and that’s that.

Another Cabinet member is of the opinion that the hierarchy shouldn’t suppress Monomuckos. “That would make them martyrs”. Indeed, counter these bastards with the truth… but don’t give them the satisfaction of a martyric end. They’re going to leave us… probably, sooner than later. Let them go. The only thing that we should say is, “Don’t let the door hit you in the arse as you go”.

Lots of interesting stuff in the agora, as per usual. Keep an open mind, open eyes, and open ears… and do bite any coin offered you…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Friday 2 November 2012

Albany NY


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