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"Holy war" at Jerusalem church

 
 
Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 01:36 pm

Quote:
November 9, 2008
JERUSALEM (AP) " Israeli police rushed into one of Christianity's holiest churches Sunday and arrested two clergyman after an argument between monks erupted into a brawl next to the site of Jesus' tomb.

The clash between Armenian and Greek Orthodox monks broke out in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, revered as the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

The brawling began during a procession of Armenian clergymen commemorating the 4th-century discovery of the cross believed to have been used to crucify Jesus.

The Greeks objected to the march without one of their monks present, fearing that otherwise, the procession would subvert their own claim to the Edicule " the ancient structure built on what is believed to be the tomb of Jesus " and give the Armenians a claim to the site.

The Armenians refused, and when they tried to march the Greek Orthodox monks blocked their way, sparking the brawl.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police were forced to intervene after fighting was reported. They arrested two monks, one from each side, he said.

A bearded Armenian monk in a red-and-pink robe and a black-clad Greek Orthodox monk with a bloody gash on his forehead were both taken away in handcuffs after scuffling with dozens of riot police.

Six Christian sects divide control of the ancient church. They regularly fight over turf and influence, and Israeli police are occasionally forced to intervene.

"We were keeping resistance so that the procession could not pass through ... and establish a right that they don't have," said a young Greek Orthodox monk with a cut next to his left eye.

The monk, who gave his name as Serafim, said he sustained the wound when an Armenian punched him from behind and broke his glasses.
Father Pakrat of the Armenian Patriarchate said the Greek demand was "against the status quo arrangement and against the internal arrangement of the Holy Sepulcher." He said the Greeks attacked first.

Archbishop Aristarchos, the chief secretary of the Greek Orthodox patriarchate, denied his monks initiated the violence.

After the brawl, the church was crowded with Israeli riot police holding assault rifles, standing beside Golgotha, where Jesus is believed to have been crucified, and the long smooth stone marking the place where tradition holds his body was laid out.

The feud is only one of a bewildering array of rivalries among churchmen in the Holy Sepulcher.

The Israeli government has long wanted to build a fire exit in the church, which regularly fills with thousands of pilgrims and has only one main door, but the sects cannot agree where the exit will be built.

A ladder placed on a ledge over the entrance sometime in the 19th century has remained there ever since because of a dispute over who has the authority to take it down.

More recently, a spat between Ethiopian and Coptic Christians is delaying badly needed renovations to a rooftop monastery that engineers say could collapse.

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Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 01:44 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Oy. Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 06:24 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Fortunately no-one was badly hurt. So I think this one of the funniest news stories I've heard for a long while.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 08:21 am
@Steve 41oo,
Steve wrote:
Fortunately no-one was badly hurt. So I think this one of the funniest news stories I've heard for a long while.

I don't think this is the end of the story. This turf war may yet yield a contender for the Darwin award.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 10:30 am
@Thomas,
I really like this report (satyre!)

Quote:
http://i35.tinypic.com/inubyv.jpg

{...] According to eyewitnesses the violence erupted when the head of the Coptic Mission accused his Ethiopian counterpart of failing to fully understand the indivisible nature of the Trinity and of "dressing like a nonce".

Mary Bradford, 64, a Baptist pilgrim from Alabama, said: "The Eastern Orthodox and the Greeks piled in. I think I saw a couple of bike chains.

"Then the head of the Armenian mission arrives, looking all serene and holy. He walks up to a Jesuit and says, 'sorry we're late but I was too busy doin' your momma!'. Then they both go into karate mode."

She added: "The best bit was the enormous, seven foot Coptic wielding a nunchuk. Everyone just stopped for a moment and stared at him and then he let out this blood-curdling scream and started cracking skulls like some kind of badass ninja."

Roy Hobbs, professor of Theology at Reading University, said: "It was very unusual to see the Greeks getting their knuckles dirty. They usually just stand on the sidelines holding the cassocks."

He added: "Of course the big theological question is 'who would Jesus have fought for?'. I think on this occasion it would have been the Coptics. Jesus loved the nunchucks."
Source
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 06:19 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Its amazing how these holy men love a fight.
Only this morning I was watching representatives of the Prince of Peace officiating at the commemoration of millions of dead.
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