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Author Topic: Chalcedon settled - the old fashioned way  (Read 2666 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 20, 2008, 03:43:04 PM »

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7357496.stm

Israeli police had to break up a fist fight that erupted between Greek and Armenian Orthodox clergymen at one of Christianity's holiest sites.

The scuffles broke out at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Orthodox Palm Sunday.

Worshippers reportedly tried to fend off police using palm fronds
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2008, 04:01:30 PM »

I have a good friend who is in the Holy Land for Great Week. With her zeal i wouldnt be surprised if she was the one trying to keep back the Israeli police or even join the greek side. lol.

But these things will always happen as Christ taught, a house divided against itself cannot stand
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2008, 06:09:41 PM »

A deacon from my church is in Jerusalem right now.  It will be interesting to get "the scoop" from him when he gets back.  I hope no one was seriously hurt.
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2008, 08:52:38 PM »

I'm afraid it would only count as news if there was no confrontation, at least so it seems.   Cry
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2008, 09:24:48 PM »

Can't we all play nice together?

Armenian, Greek Worshippers Scuffle at Jesus' Tomb
Associated Press

Sunday , April 20, 2008

JERUSALEM — Dozens of Greek and Armenian priests and worshippers exchanged blows in Christianity's holiest shrine on Palm Sunday, and pummeled police with palm fronds when they tried to break up the brawl.

The fight is part of a growing rivalry over religious rights at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built over the site where tradition says Jesus was buried and resurrected. It erupted when Armenian clergy kicked out a Greek priest from their midst, pushed him to the ground and kicked him, according to witnesses.

Two Armenian worshippers were briefly detained by Israeli police. Scores of Armenian supporters staged a protest outside the police station during the questioning of the two, beating drums and chanting.

The Holy Sepulcher is shared by several Christian denominations according to a centuries-old arrangement known as the "status quo."

Each denomination jealously guards its share of the basilica, and fights over rights of worship at the church have intensified in recent years, particularly between the Armenians and Greeks.

The Eastern Orthodox churches, including the Armenians and Greek Orthodox, follow a different calendar than Western Christians and began Easter Week observances on Sunday.

Father Pakrad, an Armenian priest, said the presence of the Greek priest during the Armenian observances violated the status quo. "Our priests entered the tomb. They kicked the Greek monk out of the Edicule," he said.

Pakrad accused the Greek Orthodox of trying to step on the Armenians' rights. "We are the weak ones, persecuted by them for many centuries."

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch in the Holy Land, Theofilos III, told The Associated Press the Armenians are pushing to change the rules, and try to challenge was he said is the dominance of his church in the Holy Land.

"This behavior is criminal and unacceptable by all means," he said. "They wanted to trespass on the status quo concerning the order that regulates the services between the various communities."

Last year, pre-Christmas cleaning in the Church of the Nativity turned ugly when robed Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests went at each other with brooms and stones. The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem — built over Jesus' traditional birth grotto — also falls under the status quo arrangement.

The status quo divides the Holy Sepulcher among the Armenians, Roman Catholics and the Greek Orthodox who have the largest share. The Coptic, Ethiopian Orthodox and Syrian Orthodox churches also have duties to maintain specific areas.


Merged this post into the already existing thread about the incident. ~Veniamin
« Last Edit: April 20, 2008, 09:27:46 PM by Veniamin » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2008, 09:32:47 PM »

The Armenians forget who built that church. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2008, 10:30:22 PM »

Christians built it.

Don't make me get out my palm frond.
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2008, 10:40:08 PM »

Christians built it.

Don't make me get out my palm frond.

They should have used the palm pilot to look it up on the web. Wink
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2008, 10:42:49 PM »

Christians built it.

Don't make me get out my palm frond.

Exactly Salpy thats what I was thinking. More Christian understanding on both sides could have prevented this, Lord have mercy on all involved.
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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2008, 11:24:05 PM »

Like David Khoury (Franciscan) said a few years ago:  "We are all Christians, and there is nothing to fight about."
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2008, 11:34:03 PM »

It all makes me consider that becoming a Riddikusite might be the only opinion!  Cry
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2008, 12:24:56 AM »

Like David Khoury (Franciscan) said a few years ago:  "We are all Christians, and there is nothing to fight about."

Or Jerusalem is the most unchristian community in the world. We personally have to detach ourselves to the Nativity Cave, Tomb and the prayer spot of Gethsemane. As Richard Dawkins once said, "This is the most unenlightened city in the word, next to Mecca". I see no reason for Israel not to interfere and to literally threaten to disable their bishops' position giving jail sentences and fees. And in turn Israel should turn over all properties to the Franciscans. If this were to happen Israel would be rabidly attacked by anti-Semites when in fact their "Damned if you do, Damned if you don't" policies are a reaction for Social Justice in Jerusalem.

A better move would be for the Church of Greece's interests is to take back Theofilos' and the Synods vestments, omophorions, mitres, staffs, office medalions and to cut funding. The Armenians and Greeks deserve potato sacks and brown paper bags over their heads than any Bushwacker machismo they present themselves in the Christian quarter. Lousy God-forsaken Pharisees!

Exactly Salpy thats what I was thinking. More Christian understanding on both sides could have prevented this, Lord have mercy on all involved.

This is call for SCOBA and SCOOCH to intervene secretly by reaching out to the Armenian and Ecumenical Patriarchs in Istanbul. If the OO and the EO are not going to hash out the serious violations that willfully are ignored by the Jerusalemite bishops to act in peaceful negotiations well it's not up to them. But if Christians throw their knives in the air and the Hamas catches a few well their asking for a spanking. Some of the issues are:

-respecting the canonical differences,
-cultural nuances
- and acknowledge that the apostolic faith of the Armenians, Syrians, Coptic's, Ethiopians are the same as the ROCOR Monastery of St. Mary Magdalene.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 01:09:17 AM by alexp4uni » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2008, 05:06:56 AM »

Quote
better move would be for the Church of Greece's interests is to take back Theofilos' and the Synods vestments, omophorions, mitres, staffs, office medalions and to cut funding.

Of this list only 'funding' can the Church of Greece do.

Aside question: is this really Holy Week for the Armenians?
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 05:25:51 AM by Αριστοκλής » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2008, 08:41:20 PM »

In Jerusalem it is.  They do everything the old way there.  Here in the U.S. we have Holy Week the same time as the Catholics.

The deacon I mentioned above left for Jerusalem just as our Lent was finishing and as the Lent in Jerusalem was going to begin.  He was laughing about how he was going to do the Lenten fasting twice.  And I know this guy is strict about keeping the fast.  That's about three months of no meat.  I couldn't survive it.

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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2008, 09:55:30 PM »

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7357496.stm

Israeli police had to break up a fist fight that erupted between Greek and Armenian Orthodox clergymen at one of Christianity's holiest sites.

The scuffles broke out at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Orthodox Palm Sunday.

Worshippers reportedly tried to fend off police using palm fronds
And the result of the Epilogue: God exists, by two falls to a submission.
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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2008, 10:11:26 PM »

This is call for SCOBA and SCOOCH to intervene secretly by reaching out to the Armenian and Ecumenical Patriarchs in Istanbul. If the OO and the EO are not going to hash out the serious violations that willfully are ignored by the Jerusalemite bishops to act in peaceful negotiations well it's not up to them. But if Christians throw their knives in the air and the Hamas catches a few well their asking for a spanking. Some of the issues are:

-respecting the canonical differences,
-cultural nuances
- and acknowledge that the apostolic faith of the Armenians, Syrians, Coptic's, Ethiopians are the same as the ROCOR Monastery of St. Mary Magdalene.

Well, it's not just Armenians and Greeks that have issues with each other, but even Copts and Ethiopians have issues with each other over a certain monastery named El Sultan Monastery.  HH Pope Shenouda has taken a political stand against Israel because they gave over the monastery to the Ethiopians, and for a while HH also had the same grudge with Ethiopians, that is until the recent developments.

God bless.
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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2008, 11:04:21 PM »

+Lord have mercy

Pray for Orthodox unity
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« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2008, 12:20:22 AM »

Armenian reporting of the incident:




Armenian News Network / Groong
April 20, 2008

By Bedross Der Matossian

JERUSALEM , ISRAEL

On Sunday, April 20, 2008 a scuffle took place between Armenian and Greek worshippers during the procession in the Church of Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Orthodox Palm Sunday. The scuffle broke out when one of the Greek Orthodox monks entered the Edicule (Tomb of Christ) during the procession of the Armenians.  This is a violation of the Status Quo terms by the Greeks. As a result, Armenian priests forcibly ejected the Greek priest from the Tomb of Christ. The Israeli police briefly detained two members of the Armenian community of Jerusalem . Mr. Serop Sahagian, a community leader, and his son, were taken to the Police Station near the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem.

 

The incident took place amid the rising tension between the Armenians and Greeks over the Status Quo issue in Holy Sepulcher. On the 16th of March, 2008, the Armenian procession in Church of Holy Sepulchre was interrupted when a Greek monk entered the Edicule, violating the terms of the Status Quo. In reaction to this violation, the Chairman of the Status Quo Committee of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem sent a letter of protest on the 16th of April to the Greek Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The letter reiterated that the Armenian Patriarchate had clearly stated in the past that the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate must refrain from placing a Greek monk inside the Edicule during Armenian processions when Armenians are in possession of the Tomb of Christ.  The letter requested a written apology from the Greeks for disrupting the Armenian procession on the Armenian Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross on Sunday, November 11, 2007. The letter stated that the interruptions by posting a Greek monk in the Edicule constitute “a material and unprecedented violation of the Armenian rights and privileges in the Holy Sites.” The letter concluded by stating that the “well established and undisputed rights of the Armenians, to an exclusive presence inside the Edicule on the above mentioned occasions, for performing their ceremonies uninterruptedly, without any interference or presence of others, that has been recognized, practiced and preserved so far, remains unquestionable and indisputable, as one of the foundations of the Status Quo of the Holy Places.” Unfortunately, the letter was ignored by the Greek Patriarchate, thus leading to the increased tension by both sides.

 

Father Norayr Kazazian, who was present during the ceremony today, said in an interview that the Greek monk was taken out by force by the Armenian priests because his actions were a serious violation of the rights of the Armenians in the Holy Site. The situation intensified when the Israeli police interfered by physically forcing the Armenians to allow the Greek monk to enter the Edicule, which is in direct contradiction to the terms of the Status Quo. The same day, Micky Rosenfeld, the Israeli Police spokesman, told Reuters that the Israeli Police were on the scene ahead of time to prevent any arguments or disturbances from erupting.  Father Kazazian expressed extreme indignation and frustration in regards to the Israeli police’s actions and their failure to uphold the centuries old terms of the Status Quo. The failure by the Israeli police to uphold the terms of the Status Quo infuriated the Armenian worshipers. Community leader Serop Sahagian, along with young Armenian worshippers, interfered to prevent the Israeli police from taking action against the Armenian priests. “Suddenly a policeman came to me and wanted to arrest me along with other youth who were present at the scene,” said Sahagian. Sahagian, who adamantly refused to be subjected to any arrest inside Holy Sepulchre, was detained briefly along with his son near the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem. Mr. Sahagian mentioned that the Israeli Police were photographing Armenian youth who were present during the scuffle.   Some anticipate that specific Armenian youth who were photographed by the Israeli Police will be prevented from enter Holy Sepulchre during the Holy Fire Ceremony next Saturday, which is considered to be the height of the Easter ceremonies. “The Armenian community is extremely concerned about the upcoming Holy Fire Ceremony at Holy Sepulchre.  In particular, we are worried by the failure and insensitivity of the Israeli Police to enforce the Status Quo and uphold the rights of the Armenians in Holy Sepulchre” lamented Fr. Kazazian.  Hundreds of Armenian worshippers from Jerusalem and throughout the world are expected at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for the upcoming Holy Fire Ceremony.

 
--
___________




I've heard of the "status quo" rules.  The way they have been explained to me, they are centuries old and they fastidiously lay out the details of what parts of what buildings belongs to whom, as well as who can be where at what time, etc.  If a member of one of the parties violates the rights of another party, the one whose rights were violated has to act immediately to defend their rights or they lose those rights for ever.  For example, if a Greek steps on a part of the Church of the Nativity that belongs to the Armenians without first asking permission and the Armenians don't immediately and publicly do something about it, the Armenians lose to the Greeks their rights to that place.  It sounds stupid, but those are the rules and the Greeks know them every bit as well as the Armenians.

I've heard before that the Greek monks there have recently been "testing" the Armenians to see how far they can go.  Among the incidents was one in the Church of the Nativity which was discussed in this forum in December:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14067.0.html

Who knows, maybe it is a series of innocent mistakes on the part of the Greeks.  Maybe the Greek monks who have recently come and stood in the church during the Armenian processions were trying to support ecumenism and show that they want to put Chalcedon aside and worship peacefully with the OO's.  It's a possibility that I would like to entertain.

However, there are those who perceive these recent events as aggressive behavior by the Greeks and the tension there is building. 

Let's hope that these events in the past week are just misunderstood ecumenical gestures by the Greeks and not the aggressive behavior that is feared.

I'm with Seraphim that we should pray for Orthodox unity.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 12:21:11 AM by Salpy » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2008, 01:35:47 AM »

This doesn't have anything to do with that Greek who was selling ancient Church land to Jews does it?
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« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2008, 01:56:45 AM »

This doesn't have anything to do with that Greek who was selling ancient Church land to Jews does it?

The Greek? You mean none other than the 2005 deposed Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem?
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« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2008, 10:28:41 AM »

In Jerusalem it is.  They do everything the old way there.  Here in the U.S. we have Holy Week the same time as the Catholics.

I didn't know that. That's kind of like the Melkites -- they celebrate Easter on whatever day is the regional custom where they're living.
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