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Editorial

Why Do the Authorities Continue to Investigate the Case of St. Nicholas at Ground Zero?

Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, seems to have lost his patience.

Apparently he can no longer bear to look at the St. Nicholas construction site at Ground Zero almost 17 months after construction was stopped. Everyone is calling it an eyesore, and it is a danger for the thousands of daily passersby.

That’s why Cuomo, as the New York Post published in an article on Sunday (The National Herald had broken the main points some time ago), has approached 7 wealthy and influential Greek-Americans – the community’s heavy hitters – and asked them to cover the millions needed (the Archdiocese is talking about approximately $40 million) – to complete the Church.

We are heartened that John Catsimatidis seems to have told the New York Post that the funds can be raised, but on one condition: The Archdiocese will not be managing the money that will be collected.

Obviously, he does not trust them. And do you blame him?

In an article published by The National Herald on June 14, 2018, we recall that Catsimatidis, one of the richest Greek-Americans (with a $3.1 billion fortune) – he is on our 50 Wealthiest Greeks in America list that we publish each year – called for the removal of Archbishop Demetrios.

He said, among other things, “I, for one, know there are many who are ready and willing to step up and fix the problems. But we will only step up to our responsibilities when the Archbishop accepts his responsibility for the mess we are in and steps down. Even retired Pope Benedict says it was his ‘duty’ to resign from papacy. Your Eminence its time that you retire.”

(On another point, the Archbishop seemed very quiet and not happy at the end of this year’s Holy Week). But that is not the big news.
The big news is that the New York Post reported that, “some of the money meant for the grand church went to shore up the Archdiocese’s finances. The U.S. Attorney has been probing the project.”

Until now, there has been a glacial silence on this issue, with some believing that the authorities had terminated their investigation. They are not obliged to communicate about it, except, of course, if they find irregularities.

But now we are informed that the investigation, almost a year after it started, continues.

So, is this case that complicated?

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