Rival monks clash at Bethlehem

Catholic World News
Dec 27 2007

Rival monks clash at Bethlehem

Bethlehem, Dec. 27, 2007 (CWNews.com) – Rival groups of Orthodox
clerics clashed inside the basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem on
December 27, forcing Palestinian police to restore order.

Priests of the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic churches came to
blows during a dispute over the boundaries of their respective
jurisdictions within the basilica, located on the site of Christ’s
birth. The confrontation arose as the two groups were cleaning the
church in preparation for the Orthodox observance of the Nativity in
January.

Administration of the Nativity basilica is shared by Catholic,
Orthodox, and Armenian Apostolic clerics. The relationships among the
different groups have frequently been contentious, and there have
been frequent disputes over jurisdiction in spite of a highly
detailed agreement.

The Franciscan monks who represent the Catholic Church at the
basilica were not involved in the December 27 melee. The Orthodox and
Armenian clerics were cleaning the building after thousands of
Catholics had joined in their own Christmas celebration there.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS