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Ray S. Offline OP
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Clerics clash in Bethlehem brawl at Jesus' birthplace [content.usatoday.com]
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Up to 100 Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic priests and monks swinging brooms clashed inside the Church of Nativity today in Bethlehem in a frenzied turf battle, the Associated Press reports.

Check out the video:
Police sweep through Bethlehem church to break up scuffles between rival clerics - video [guardian.co.uk]

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Eastern Christians have a well-deserved reputation for combativeness. This kind of behaviour has happened LOTS of times before and I reckon it will til the end of days. The people involved in the fracas are just garden-variety kooks.

Like so many things in Christianity, it ain't got nothin' to do with Jesus.

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Originally Posted by sielos ilgesys
Eastern Christians have a well-deserved reputation for combativeness. This kind of behaviour has happened LOTS of times before and I reckon it will til the end of days. The people involved in the fracas are just garden-variety kooks.

Like so many things in Christianity, it ain't got nothin' to do with Jesus.

If I recall, the Greeks and the Franciscans dust it up every couple of years over there as well, so it isn't just an Eastern thingee!

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Absolutely no excuse for this kind of stuff. I personally knew a friar of the Holy Land Custody who accidentally stepped on a carpet on THEIR side and was severely injured by a candle-wielding monk. "By their fruits you shall know them." Yikes!

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Over the past few years, at least since I have been following events, I don't recall an incident involving aggression by the Franciscans. In fact I think all the incidents I can remember tend to be between Greeks and Armenians... is there a deeper animosity between the two nations that I don't know about? I wouldn't have imagined it, in fact I'd imagine some solidarity taking into acocunt common enemies.

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The incidents between the Franciscans and the Greeks tend to happen at the Church of the Holy Sepulchere at Pascha. There are no innocents in this foolishness - neither Eastern nor Western nor Oriental - witness the long-standing failure to agree on repairs that are essential to preservation at various of the sites.

It is long past the time that the respective hierarchs of all who claim succession from the Apostles sit down and work out a modern day agreement that will put an end to this foolish behavior, the end result of which is to make Eastern and Western Christians, Orthodox and Catholic, look to be buffoons in the eyes of the world and that, at the very least, in the Eyes of God.

The sum total of these childish disagreements has been to endanger the survival of sacred structures regarding which they cannot agree on the simplest of matters, such as essential repairs and preservation, to say nothing of the risk of destruction to the physical buildings in the course of these brouhahas. Whether they are seminarians or monks, ordained or otherwise, there is no excuse. If the Franciscan Custodian, the Patriarch of St James, the Greek Orthodox Archbishop, and whichever hierarchs have authority over the other communities cannot see this, one has to seriously wonder about their own intellectual faculties and their own spirituality.

There is absolutely no valid excuse to be made for this behavior. It shames all of the Churches involved, whether it happens at the Church of the Nativity on this occasion or the Church of the Holy Sepulchere at Pascha or any of the other sacred sites. Frankly, they'll only keep it up just so long before there is permanent damage and civil authorities step in and strip all of them of their 'trusteeship' of the various component parts - and, realistically, as sad as that might be in some regards, it might be the best thing to happen.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Like someone said jokingly: "live by the broom, die by the broom"...

Seriously it is childish, but on the other hand, I know that alot of Christian people get very stressed just before Christmas (cleaning, preparatations, praying, cooking) and couple that with fasting, and people can behave in ways that are out of the ordinary...perhaps it may also be the evil one, who knows.

In light of my observation of stress, all I can say is that monks are people too. Unlike us people, it is too bad that the world has to read about their stress and momentary outbursts.

Lord have mercy on us all!

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Neil:

Christ is Born!!

Amen and amen and amen to your post.

Maybe what is needed is to have all these monks begin to pray in common so that they learn the lessons that many of us have learned by participation on this board. We're all trying to live out the Faith. We come from various divided communities, but all of us have a common focus--Jesus Christ. Maybe by praying together and even eating together they'd learn some basic charity and hospitality. It works at the ecumenical community in France; why not in the Holy Land.

Bob

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Another few amens to both Neil and Bob. In a world that is becoming increasingly 'non-Christian' it is time to stop the infighting and be an example of true Christian spirituality. We are all human, but if we cannot even get along on the holiest of Christian days we speak volumes to a world in need of God.

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In the increasingly hostile Holy Lands it is tempting to think that the only "real" enemy is outside the sacred walls. But that Foe lurks within each heart, successfully tempting consecrated men to do toward each other--on a lesser scale--what the outside enemy would like to do to them all.

There should be severe penances prescribed for all who succumb.

Surprised that a Lutheran would suggest that? The first of the 95 Theses is that "a Christian's life should be one of repentance".

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I am astonished any Lutheran would entertain the very idea of imposing penances. To live a life of repentance does not necessarily suggest particular penitential practices. But then again, my experience with Lutherans have been restricted to my very tepid and non-theologically sophisticated relatives who prefess to adhere to that particular brand of Protestantism.

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Originally Posted by sielos ilgesys
I am astonished any Lutheran would entertain the very idea of imposing penances. To live a life of repentance does not necessarily suggest particular penitential practices. But then again, my experience with Lutherans have been restricted to my very tepid and non-theologically sophisticated relatives who prefess to adhere to that particular brand of Protestantism.

One of the disciplines of the Rule of the Society of The Holy Trinity [societyholytrinity.org] is that we make frequent use of Confession and Absolution; and, in our chapter Retreats I have been Confessor on some occasions and Penitent on many.

Sometimes we assign a Penance, understood not as a condition for receiving the Absolution but something to be done in thanksgiving for that gift, and as a means of safeguarding against recurrence of the sin confessed.

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Live; learn; rid one's self of stereotypes. A realistic New Year's resolution? My other was to resolve to make no New Year's resolutions at all.

From my limited experience, I think Lutherans in the USA tend to have better music than a lot of music heard in many RC churches in this country.

I really like the hymn "Behold A Host, Arrayed in Light":
http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/LSB2006/676

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Originally Posted by sielos ilgesys
Live; learn; rid one's self of stereotypes. A realistic New Year's resolution? My other was to resolve to make no New Year's resolutions at all.

From my limited experience, I think Lutherans in the USA tend to have better music than a lot of music heard in many RC churches in this country.

I really like the hymn "Behold A Host, Arrayed in Light":
http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/LSB2006/676

It is a beautiful hymn, based on Revelation 7.

Lutheran calendar rubrics permit the transferal of All Saints' to the first Sunday in November; custom encourages it. This hymn is pretty much a fixed part of the liturgy in my parish every All Saints'.


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