Priests with Brooms
January 4, 2012
I’m not quite ready to leave Christmas yet, at least not in the Penn. Did you read about the fight that broke out in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity during the Christmas season? The Church of the Nativity is the church built over the site where some believe Jesus was born. The incident made the news around the world and there was even video available for those who wanted to see what actually happened. It wasn’t pretty. You see it wasn’t terrorists armed with bombs, it was priests armed with brooms.
That’s right. Priests and brooms! And the scuffle had to be broken up by policemen armed with batons and shields. The 1700 year old church is administered by rival groups of Greek Orthodox and Armenian Clerics who were cleaning the church in preparation for Orthodox Christmas which is celebrated on January 7th. The two denominations share the administration of the church and speculation is that the incident was sparked by perceived encroachments on one group’s territory by the other.
Bethlehem police Lt-Col Khaled al-Tamimi commented, “It was a trivial problem that… occurs every year, no one was arrested because all those involved were men of God.” Then they should act like it. Have a great week and remember: To see what is really possible, you will have to attempt the impossible.