Jerusalem priests brawl over opening of Holy Sepulcher door
Two go in: ONE COMES OUT!
Now this would end the schism in short order:
Dozens of people, including several Israeli police officers, were lightly hurt in the brawl at the shrine, which is built over the spot where tradition says Jesus was crucified and buried. Jerusalem police spokesman Shmulik Ben-Ruby said four priests were detained.
Custody at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is shared by several denominations that jealously guard territory and responsibilities under a fragile deal hammered out over several centuries. Any perceived encroachment on one group’s turf can lead to vicious feuds, some of which have also lasted centuries.
No word on who won the fight, but the history of the Holy Sepulcher has been interesting. In the front of the entrance there is a small court, to which the Greek Orthodox own the court, while the Franciscans own the steps leading up to the court. During the 18th century, two Franciscans were standing on the step, and the Orthodox told them to move. The Franciscans refused. An argument broke out, and the Franciscans were shot and killed. The problem? The courtyard isn’t exactly even, so the step the Franciscans were standing upon disappeared into the sloping courtyard. So is it a step, or a part of the courtyard?
One might think it is silly to fight over the Holy Sepulcher, but in another aspect it is quite amazing that people fight over every stone. The attachment to the land it that strong. As Americans in a disposable society we might not get it, but in the Holy Land it makes perfect sense.
St. Joseph’s should send the Franciscans in question some gear. Of course, I wonder whether this will become a tradition, scuffling in front of the Sepulcher? Either that, or the Franciscans and Orthodox are going to start finding some rather large, burly vocations to the priesthood.