“There are those who would overcome the world with weapons of violence, but this is not our way,” said Metropolitan Tikhon in his address to the gathering. “There are those who cling to death and to sin in order to bring about more death and more evil, but this is not our way. There are those who blame religion for tragedies such as the one we mourn today, but they are blind to the reality that true believers become such only when their hearts are purified of sin and their lives filled with the light of the Resurrection.”
The gathering was hosted by His Grace, Bishop David of New York and New England of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Among those in attendance were His Grace, Bishop Sevastianos of Zela, Chief Secretary of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, who spoke on behalf of His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios and the Archdiocese. Other attendees included His Eminence, Archbishop Zekarias of the Ethiopian Church; His Eminence, Archbishop Silvanos of the Syriac Church; numerous other hierarchs and clergy from the Oriental Churches; Roman Catholic hierarchs Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York and Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Center, NY; Archpriest John Jillions, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America; Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak; civic and political leaders from Staten Island and Brooklyn; and representatives of the New York City Police and Fire departments. Local media and Lauren Green from Fox News also were present.