Former New York Governor George Pataki has joined with Greek Orthodox leaders to demand help for rebuilding a church destroyed at the site of Ground Zero on September 11, 2001.
St. Nicholas Church was destroyed when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. Church officials said they have been trying to rebuild the church for years, but the Port Authority has broken off negotiations.
Pataki, New York's governor at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks, questioned why public officials have not addressed St. Nicholas' future while they lead a debate on whether and where the Islamic cultural center should be built. He has asked the Port Authority to resume negotiations with church leaders.
"We must rebuild St. Nicholas and we must do it here at the World Trade Center site," Pataki said. "It's incredibly disappointing to me that almost nine years later, not only is it not underway, but there haven't been negotiations between church officials and the Port Authority for over a year."
Orthodox Bishop Andonios says New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and President Obama should show the same concern for rebuilding the church that they have shown for the proposed mosque near New York City's Ground Zero.
"It's unfortunate that it took a controversy over a mosque to bring attention to the St. Nicholas Church," he said.
The Port Authority says it had an agreement with church leaders to rebuild the structure at an alternate site, but they kept pushing for more public funds.