See How These Christians Love One Another...


Did you see the big fight?
Not the Joe Calzaghe v Roy Jones Jnr bout from Madison Square Gardens, but the Armenian Orthodox Monks v Greek Orthodox Monks from the Holy Sepulchre. If you haven't seen it, you can find footage of it here. But you're probably better not watching it.
For once it was not Northern Ireland dragging the name of Christ through the dirt.
But it brought to mind this piece written by Arthur Leonard Griffith:
"At the centre of the old city [Jerusalem] stands the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, reputedly on the site of the original Calvary and the original Garden of the Resurrection. It stands, but only because ugly steel scaffolding permanently supports the walls inside and out. This church is one of the dirtiest, most depressing buildings in all Christendom. It should be torn down and rebuilt. This is not possible, however, because the Church of the Holy Sepulchre belongs jointly to the Abyssinians, Armenians, Copts, Greeks, Syrians and Roman Catholics, and their priests will hardly speak to one another, let alone cooperate in a joint enterprise of rebuilding. Each communion preserves its own separate chapel, and conducts its own ceremonies; and to make the situation ludicrous, the keys of the church have been entrusted to a family of Muslims, who, in order to answer the call of Allah five times daily, have turned the entrance into a Muslim Mosque. Nowhere in all the world can you find a more tragic symbol of the mutilation of Christ's body than the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem."

He wrote this way back in 1964, and not having visited Jerusalem myself, I don't know whether his architectural critique still holds true. However the events of this weekend demonstrates that the stewards of this holy site are still behaving with admirable ecumenical cooperation.


Comments

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