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The Battle of Bethlehem: 100 rival priests clash at church built to mark birth of Jesus
Daily Mail ^ | December 29, 2011 | Lucy Buckland

Posted on 12/29/2011 5:22:14 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife

An extraordinary brawl between clergymen broke out yesterday at the very site where Jesus is said to have been born.

The annual cleaning of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem descended into a battle between the rival Christian denominations that share it.

Brooms, fists and vicious insults flew in all directions between 100 priests and monks dressed in their traditional robes.

The fight ended only after Palestinian police, bending their heads to squeeze through the church’s low ‘door of humility’, rushed in with batons to restore order.

The row is believed to have begun after a clergyman of one order – either Greek Orthodox or Armenian Apostolic –accidentally pushed his broom into space ‘controlled’ by the other group.

Conflict is easily sparked by any perceived encroachment of jurisdictional boundaries within the church, where control is split between the two denominations along with Roman Catholics. All three groups were cleaning the church for annual Orthodox Christmas celebrations, which will be held next week.

Palestinian police lieutenant-colonel Khaled al-Tamimi tried to play down the incident, saying there had been a ‘trivial problem’.

He added: ‘Everything is all right and things have returned to normal. No one was arrested because all those involved were men of God.'

(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bethlehem; brawl; churchofthenativity; monks
It's sad when the Palestinian Authority is brokering peace deals among Christians.
1 posted on 12/29/2011 5:22:19 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

Jesus loves the little children....all the little children of the world.......


2 posted on 12/29/2011 5:24:56 PM PST by stboz
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

The whole incident is a joke. While reading the story I imagined the Benny Hill theme song playing in the background.


3 posted on 12/29/2011 5:25:31 PM PST by catbertz (Easter egg...I wants it.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

OMG! Couldn’t they have at least taken the brawl outside?


4 posted on 12/29/2011 5:27:17 PM PST by formosa (Formosa)
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To: catbertz
Boots Randolph: Yakketty Sax
5 posted on 12/29/2011 5:28:03 PM PST by Publius
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To: catbertz

I have been there many times, and they hate each other’s guts—same at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.


6 posted on 12/29/2011 5:29:11 PM PST by richardtavor
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

Sounds almost like an FR Religion Forum fracas broke through to real life, lol.

But, the strained, carefully cultivated appearance of unity between Orthodox and Catholic on the FR RF is nowhere in evidence, in Bethlehem.


7 posted on 12/29/2011 5:30:28 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: catbertz

I have been there many times, and they hate each other’s guts—same at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.


8 posted on 12/29/2011 5:31:02 PM PST by richardtavor
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
The row is believed to have begun after a clergyman of one order – either Greek Orthodox or Armenian Apostolic –accidentally pushed his broom into space ‘controlled’ by the other group.

Sounds like this episode of "The Munsters" where Herman and Grandpa are feuding and draw a line down the middle of the house. Hilarity ensues...
9 posted on 12/29/2011 5:38:21 PM PST by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

It’s also sad when the Palestinian police downplay a story which makes Christians look bad... but the British press exaggerates it wildly.

And no, I’m neither Armenian or Orthodox.


10 posted on 12/29/2011 5:39:14 PM PST by dangus
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

Christ is born!

This sort of thing unfortunately happens all the time in the Church of the Nativity.

By the way, there are really two Orthodox Christmases—the New Calendar (December 25th) and the Old Calendar (January 7). (Jan 7th in the Gregorian Calendar is Dec 25th in the Julian Calendar).

We New Calendar folks will celebrate Theophany on January 6th, so there will be Orthodox Christians who follow both calendars in church that day. I will also—Lord willing—be in church the night of the 6th for Serbian Christmas Eve (Badnje vece).

Pascha (Easter) is the same for both old and new calendar. In 2012 it will be April 15th—one week after Western Easter.


11 posted on 12/29/2011 5:45:23 PM PST by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Most sad that supposed Christians would physically attack others from another Christian church.

But then, look what the 'Christian' Catholic Church did to those who ultimately became 'Protestants.' They burned some of them at the 'stake.'

12 posted on 12/29/2011 5:49:27 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: Honorary Serb

Sounds to me like when the Messiah shows up these dumbass chirrens are in for a good whuppin’.


13 posted on 12/29/2011 5:51:25 PM PST by QBFimi (When gunpowder speaks, beasts listen.)
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To: Ron C.
"And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment." 1 John 3:23.

If they can't love one another, then perhaps they are not real Christians. They are fighting over something that will be destroyed in fire when judgment comes.

14 posted on 12/29/2011 5:57:58 PM PST by aimhigh
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To: Honorary Serb

Mir Boziji - Hristos se rodi (I hope that is right is has been almost 10 years) a few days early.


15 posted on 12/29/2011 5:58:56 PM PST by reaganaut (Ex-Mormon, now Christian "I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see".)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

It seems their egos are trumping what their priorities SHOULD be.


16 posted on 12/29/2011 5:59:36 PM PST by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: Honorary Serb

BTW, love the tagline.


17 posted on 12/29/2011 5:59:36 PM PST by reaganaut (Ex-Mormon, now Christian "I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see".)
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To: All

Let’s pray for them. (I just did.)


18 posted on 12/29/2011 6:02:19 PM PST by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: Ron C.

” But then, look what the ‘Christian’ Catholic Church did to those who ultimately became ‘Protestants.’ They burned some of them at the ‘stake.’” <<<

You do realize that both sides, the Church and protestants, bore the same guilt of the same atrocities. Let us not give the protestants a complete pass, here, on their own actions against Catholics and the Church. Just sayin’.


19 posted on 12/29/2011 6:09:38 PM PST by RitaOK (wRasmussen- the polling standard for accuracy.)
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To: RitaOK

I would be very interested in reading about any established Protestant Church burning any Catholic at the stake. Can you point me to any such history?


20 posted on 12/29/2011 6:26:31 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: aimhigh
"If they can't love one another, then perhaps they are not real Christians."

Point well made, and exactly my thinking. I know that Christians sin, and I know they don't mean to. But, if the offense is repeated for too long, then that very possibility looms quite large.

21 posted on 12/29/2011 6:29:36 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

No problem, these aren’t Christians.


22 posted on 12/29/2011 6:32:38 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

Grown men sweeping floors erupting into a melee. How gay is that.


23 posted on 12/29/2011 6:48:40 PM PST by LoneRangerMassachusetts (The meek shall not inherit the Earth)
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To: AnotherUnixGeek

My thought (not as on-topic as yours) is of the episode of Newhart where the guys form rival gangs complete with gang jackets. But the embroiderer messes up and the gang names written across the back wind up being “Puffians” and “Hooligals”. I can’t remember what happens next, but I’m pretty sure hilarity ensues.


24 posted on 12/29/2011 7:03:50 PM PST by Yardstick
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To: Honorary Serb

Merry Christmas to you.


25 posted on 12/29/2011 7:18:02 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Real solidarity means coming together for the common good."-Sarah Palin)
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To: Ron C.
I would be very interested in reading about any established Protestant Church burning any Catholic at the stake. Can you point me to any such history?

You could start by reading up on the career of John Calvin. Then proceed to Henry VIII. Then find out what happened to the last Catholic priest in Iceland. That's just for starters.

If that isn't enough, you can pick up a book on the Thirty Year's War.

26 posted on 12/29/2011 7:24:40 PM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Ron C.

The Anglicans tortured and killed many Catholics, in addition to seizing their property, forbidding Catholic worship, and destroying Catholic liturgical items and art. Other Protestant denominations killed mainly other Protestants. Calvin was particularly bloody. But then it turned around and the whole reason the Puritans (Calvinists) fled England was because of their persecution by the established Protestant church there.

In short, you can find this anywhere.

The dispute between the Armenian and the Greek Orthodox has nothing to do with doctrine, but is probably more ethnic in origin than anything else. I’ve never been sure how the Armenians ended up being one of the groups in charge there, but historically these groups have never gotten along with each other.

The Franciscans represent the Latin Rite churches there, and quite often there have been conflicts between them and the Orthodox churches, too. But again, it’s more ethnic or cultural than anything else.


27 posted on 12/29/2011 7:29:22 PM PST by livius
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
we may worship a perfect God, but we, in fact, are a very imperfect people!
28 posted on 12/29/2011 7:33:21 PM PST by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda" and its allies.)
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To: elpadre

Yes, indeed. And that’s why this is kind of funny. No, it isn’t right that a fight broke out in the Church of the Nativity. But when you break down our human actions you realize that each of us does things because of pride that we shouldn’t do. We’re no better than these priests in the church.


29 posted on 12/29/2011 7:36:56 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Real solidarity means coming together for the common good."-Sarah Palin)
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To: livius
OK, ya got me... but, I have never thought of the Anglicans as being anything other than Catholics with the right to divorce.

Of course, for Catholics to use the refrain that 'Protestants' did the same still does not bode well for Catholic history. After Protestants came to America, we had a few of them go nuts too. They weren't burning Catholics, but some of them sure didn't treat 'witches' very well - which is to me an equivalent great sin - thankfully never repeated.

30 posted on 12/29/2011 7:46:01 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: reaganaut
Vaistinu se rodi! (Ваистину се роди!)
31 posted on 12/29/2011 7:46:13 PM PST by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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To: Vigilanteman
Good advice indeed. Again though, none of that allows pardon to Catholic behavior that resulted in 'Protestantism' coming about in the first place. Nor, on the other hand does it excuse early Protestantism from behaving the same.

I'll let God sort it out on judgment day.

32 posted on 12/29/2011 7:51:45 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: Honorary Serb

:)


33 posted on 12/29/2011 7:53:04 PM PST by reaganaut (Mormonism is all about Glory to self not Glory to God.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

It would seem the “door of humility” may need lowered. It is not working at the current level.


34 posted on 12/29/2011 7:53:28 PM PST by daisy mae for the usa
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To: Honorary Serb

My mother’s people always referred to January 7 as “Old Christmas.” They were/are Moravian and some Lutheran. Of course, the Orthodox who originally proselytized the Moravians are by now a dim memory, known to few outside seminarians and scholars. Many no longer even realize they’re the spiritual heirs of Jan Hus after that.


35 posted on 12/29/2011 8:08:56 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Yardstick
My thought (not as on-topic as yours) is of the episode of Newhart where the guys form rival gangs complete with gang jackets. But the embroiderer messes up and the gang names written across the back wind up being “Puffians” and “Hooligals”. I can’t remember what happens next, but I’m pretty sure hilarity ensues.

Great and under-rated show, "Newhart". Became more and more surreal the last couple of seasons, with much bigger roles for the supporting cast, and that was all to the good.
36 posted on 12/29/2011 9:06:08 PM PST by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: RegulatorCountry

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Gorazd_(Pavlik)_of_Prague


37 posted on 12/30/2011 6:29:55 AM PST by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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To: Ron C.
I'll let God sort it out on judgment day.

Excellent idea. If only all religious fanatics would do the same . . .

There's a reason that Americans chose the Roger Williams model (religious freedom) over the Mather Family model (Christian talibanism). But the Mather clan hasn't given up as evidenced by the type of behavior they continue to exhibit.

38 posted on 12/30/2011 7:04:25 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: RegulatorCountry
Many no longer even realize they’re the spiritual heirs of Jan Hus after that.

Correct. The Anabaptist Branch of Christianity does not consider themselves a part of the Protestant movement because they predated it by centuries. Most branches of Anabaptists do not recognize the authority of the Council of Nicea, unlike traditional Protestantism. Many, however, accept its conclusions, some out of genuine belief, some out of tradition as a price to be paid to be accepted into the mainstream of Christianity and end persecution.

Jan Hus, while the best known of their spiritual leaders and martyrs was, by no means, the only one.

During the religious wars in Europe in the late 16th and early 17th century, the one thing the Catholics and Protestants agreed upon were that the Anabaptists were heretics, resulting in their wanton and senseless slaughter.

This was a primary motivator for many of their branches to move to America and, eventually, why the Roger Williams model of religious freedom won out over the Mather family model of puritanism.

The Mennonites actually maintain a website which details the history of the various Anabaptist movements, including one which practiced polygamy.

The Quakers were probably the largest and best known branch of the Anabaptist movement though, depending on which particular Quaker you talk to, they may consider themselves an entirely separate movement. Some have even evolved into extreme secularists, using the tradition of opposition to state sponsorship of any religion as a club to impose their own view of state secularism as a de facto religion-- sort of the same thing which has happened to the secularization of well-known Protestant sects such as the ELCA, Methodists and Presbyterians.

BTW, I beleive the tradition of "Old Christmas" dates from refusal to accept the Gregorian calendar. Most of Protestant Europe viewed it as a Catholic invention (which it was, but it was also accurate) but gradually asccepted it over the 17th Centrury. The United Kingdom held off acceptance until early in the 18th Century. I beleive the date is not fixed as it has been celebrated on January 6th in some years, but will be January 7 in 2012. It may have something to do with Leap Years. I'd have to look it up.

39 posted on 12/30/2011 7:42:53 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Vigilanteman
Not sure I'm completely following, since Moravians were never associated with Anabaptists. They predated Martin Luther by over a century, driven into hiding, and then brought to relative safety by a Count who gave them shelter on his estate. The Count was Lutheran, so if it can be said that early Moravians were influenced by rather than being an influence upon, that influence would have been the Lutheran Church.
40 posted on 12/30/2011 7:53:37 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: AnotherUnixGeek

Yeah, I think this episode must’ve been from the later, more surreal period. Newhart really was a good show.


41 posted on 12/30/2011 9:13:33 AM PST by Yardstick
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