Israeli police rushed into Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre to break up fist fights between dozens of Greek and Armenian worshippers on Orthodox Palm Sunday, witnesses said.
Some 20 officers intervened after Armenian worshippers threw a Greek Orthodox priest out of the church, sparking a free-for-all, they said.
Several worshippers then started beating the police officers with palm fronds they were holding for the Palm Sunday celebrations that mark the return of Jesus to the Holy City a week before he was crucified.
I know, I know. It is scandalous but it is also humorous and kind of refreshing. The Western world doesn’t care much about anything of theological importance. Those fellows care deeply. It happens every year like clock work.
Care deeply?! They are beating each up over what they consider “turf” in what is supposed to be a church! Am I the only one hoping God one day just has the whole Jerusalem swallowed under an Earthquake just so all religions and sects stop this stupid fighting and bickering over a piece of land?
I have an uncle that lived in Jerusalem for several years and he attended liturgy every morning at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. He is not Catholic or Orthodox. He is more in line with the Evangelical community. He explained that several different communities worship at the Church. Each has an allotted time slot and it’s very tight to get in liturgy, Holy Communion, and depart for the next group to come in and get set up. Each group doesn’t play well with the other groups. If any infringements are incurred on the time table it really bunches up peoples panties.
If it causes you scandal so be it. Jesus whipped the money changers and he wasn’t ashamed of it. To me its almost a non issue. They should behave better I suppose but to me it is a sign that they care.
Technically, since it was priest-to-priest brawling, I would say it was a “holy” brawl. Luckily, no participants had any holy hand grenades, or it could have gotten really ugly…
Seriously though, isn’t some of the commentary on the “brawl” a matter of cultural difference? Such an event would be more scandalous if it happened in the US because we are a little more PC in our disagreements. Perhaps in the Middle East it is more acceptable to be blatantly vocal and shove a little? This is just conjecture on my part, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions.
Brawls are not uncommon at the church, which is shared by various branches of Christianity, each of which controls and jealously guards part of site – considered one of the holiest in Christianity.
**Precisely in order to prevent such disturbances, two Muslim families have been entrusted for the past 800 years with opening and closing the gates of the church, **a cavernous labyrinth of chapels and crypts built on the site where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified and buried.
I don’t think cultural norms exist for allowing fighting. 800 years of Muslim intervention for a peaceful daily opening and closing of this Christian shrine. That’s shameful. And there is no getting around it. Christianity crosses cultural divides, or at least it SHOULD. Clearly it is not in this case and in this place for nearly a millennium. There is no pooh-poohing this. There are no making excuses trying to reduce it to cultural differences or sensibilities. This is pure cow ****. It’s situations like these that make me really question the Christian path. These priest dispense the actual body and blood, soul and divinity of our Lord? Really? And the fruit of that holy activity is what? In-fighting? No, not at all. And let’s not say sin is in the person in this case. If that is the excuse then we’d see this is an isolated incidence. 800 years of MUSLIM peaceful intervention certainly negates the ‘sin is in the person’ argument.
It’s well past time to call it as it is. It is well past time to coddle poor behavior. This is a disgrace.
Okay…but, seriously, this event makes you “question the Christian path?” Why? There have been more than a few sinful priests in the history of the Church (certainly with sins much, much worse than this event). Are you just employing some hyperbole?
I should hope so. They are just having fun. Thank God for the Muslims. Sometimes Americans think that we should dictate how others behave. If someone thinks they can then perhaps they should go over there and speak to the priests involved. The last 800 years have worked out much better than the 600 years prior to that ever did. I wonder how history will treat American cultue in a few centuries from now? We have a higher murder rate than most nations on earth. Our divorce rate is much higher, and we are champion baby killers.
We may not have as many open tussles in the Church but how many Churches in America share the most holy site and Christendom with other groups of Christians with or without a tussle now and then?
Early Christian worship was liturgical and early Christianity was noted for the love the followers of Christ had for one another and their communal living habits. The worship style and practices of those early years has been retained but, generally speaking, not the attitudes.
Christ prayed that we be united as He and the Father are united - that is a prayer unfulfilled, obviously. We are told in Scripture that we know by the fruits bore. Look at the fruits of Christianity, or at least by those professing to distribute the Sacraments.
Christianity is divided. There is not love among the followers. This case is just a glaring example of my complete exhaustion with the Christian path.
I struggle with this all the time. When alone and at prayer; it’s all good. When I am surrounded by “Christians” I am most often filled with dismay and wonder if it’s not all some sort of serious sick joke being played out.
I know I sound harsh or lashing. Please don’t take it that way. Just “sharing,” OK? If this is my only cross to bear then I am a blessed man.