Greek church sues for right to rebuild at disputed Ground Zero site

February 15, 2011

(RNS) Greek Orthodox officials on Monday (Feb. 14) filed suit against
the agency charged with rebuilding Ground Zero over the disputed fate of
tiny St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was destroyed by falling
debris on 9/11.

Negotiations between St. Nicholas leaders and the Port Authority of
New York and New Jersey abruptly ended two years ago, which agency
officials blame on the congregation's escalating demands.

"The parish and the archdiocese would have preferred to rebuild the
church without litigation," countered the Rev. Mark Arey, spokesman for
the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Church officials want to proceed with the preliminary agreement to
exchange their strategic sliver at 155 Cedar Street -- now under
construction for a major vehicle security center -- for a larger piece
of property at 130 Liberty Street.

Port Authority officials, meanwhile, say the church is welcome to
rebuild on the original property once the garage is completed.

The church is also suing the Lower Manhattan Development
Corporation, the New York State Urban Development Corporation and two
Port Authority officials.