Author Topic: Jew trys to sort out Orthodox-Armenian tiff  (Read 1843 times)

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Offline MBZ

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Jew trys to sort out Orthodox-Armenian tiff
« on: April 16, 2005, 02:35:48 PM »
Hi all!

This is off the Haaretz website:

Last update - 07:51 16/04/2005

Sharansky working to end rift between Greek, Armenian clergy

By Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz Correspondent

Minister Without Portfolio Natan Sharansky is trying to reconcile the Greek Orthodox and Armenian clergy to enable the peaceful performance of the Sabbath of Light ceremony in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

The High Court of Justice on Thursday debated an urgent petition filed by the Armenian patriarch, Archbishop Torkom Manoogian. Sharansky, who was appointed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to reconcile the sides, apparently persuaded both patriarchs to sign a commitment calling on the public to refrain from violence. Police have warned that violence during the ceremony could lead to numerous casualties.

The Sabbath of Light ceremony is held on the last Saturday before Orthodox Christian Easter at the Holy Sepulchre church in the Old City. Both communities believe that a divine flame descends from the sky on this day and lights the oil lamp standing on Jesus' tomb. Orthodox Easter falls on May 1 this year.

Attorney Eitan Epstein, who represents the Armenian Patriarchy, says both sides had maintained the status quo in conducting the ceremony together for hundreds of years. However, Greek Orthodox Patriarch Irineos I, who was appointed in 2002, refused to let Manoogian leave the tomb area first during the ceremony, as is customary. In the scuffle that erupted, the "holy fire" from Manoogian's candles was extinguished.

Now the Greek Orthodox Patriarchy refuses to let the Armenian representative enter the tomb chapel at all, demanding he wait outside the chapel and light his candles from Irineos' candles. "It's a scathing humiliation to the Christian Armenian world," said Epstein.

If Sharansky fails to reconcile the two sides by next Tuesday, the court will have to rule on the Armenians' request for an injunction ordering the police to hold the ceremony in the traditional way.


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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Jew trys to sort out Orthodox-Armenian tiff
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2005, 10:20:01 PM »
Unfortunately, it has failed:

No deal between sides in church dispute
By Yuval Yoaz
Minister without Portfolio Natan Sharansky has failed to bring about a compromise between the Armenian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox patriarchs ahead of the Ceremony of the Holy Fire, due to take place on Saturday.

 The ceremony is one of the highlights of the liturgical year at Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The High Court of Justice has refused to intervene in the controversy, citing "international political implications."

During the ceremony, which takes place annually on the Saturday before Orthodox Easter Sunday in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, it is believed divine fire lights the oil lamps in the inner room of the traditional tomb of Jesus in the church.

About two weeks ago, Armenian Orthodox Patriarch Torkom Manoogian petitioned the High Court of Justice to issue an interim order obliging Greek Orthodox Patriarch Irineos I not to change the status quo in the ceremony. The issue is whether the Armenian Patriarch can enter the structure over the tomb, together with his Greek Orthodox counterpart, and light his lamp directly from the lamp of the holy fire, or whether he must wait in the tomb's anteroom to light his lamp from the Greek Orthodox patriarch's.

Sharansky, appointed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to deal with the controversy, reported to the High Court that he had managed only to get the two sides to agree not to resort to violence during the ceremony. The Jerusalem police force has received instructions from the government not to interfere in the ceremony, but to protect public order.

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Offline lpap

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Re: Jew trys to sort out Orthodox-Armenian tiff
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2005, 07:26:11 AM »
Here is an excerpt of a web page that refers to HOLY LIGHT :

"Only the Greek Orthodox Patriarch has the prerogative and power to receive
the Holy Fire. [Of course, if the Patriarch of Jerusalem were not Greek
things would not change: Orthodoxy is One, with the Greek Orthodox Church
part of this One Church]. At times, other denominations have unsuccessfully
tried to receive the Holy Fire: each time this has been impossible. For
example, in the year AD 1549, always in accordance with the historical
records, the Armenians bribed sultan Murat to allow them entry to the
All-Holy Sepulchre so that they can receive the Holy Fire instead. Indeed,
the Sultan gave them permission to enter and the Armenians entered the
Temple and locked the doors. Despairing when he saw the Armenians lock
themselves inside the All-Holy Sepulchre, the Orthodox Patriarch knelt
outside the entrance to the Temple, near one of its columns and started
praying. Suddenly the column was torn (see photo below) and the Holy Fire
came out lighting the Patriarch's lampads.

The Agarene Emir was watching the events on top of the minaret of his mosque, which was situated opposite the
Temple. When he saw what happened he shouted out loud:

<<Great is the faith of Christians! One is the true God, the God of
Christians! I believe in Christ who was resurrected from the dead! I bow
before Him as my God!>>

After this confession he jumped off the minaret. Despite the height, after
falling nothing happened to him. Then the Muslims caught him and beheaded
him. His holy relic is kept up to this day in the Holy Monastery of the
Great Mother of God of Jerusalem.

The Holy Fire symbolizes but also reminds us in a miraculous way of Christ's
Resurrection; for this and the ceremony is actually repeated in all Orthodox
Churches before the Midnight Service (Matins and Liturgy) of Pascha
(Easter). Of course when the priest comes out of the Royal Gate holding
candles, the light they carry is not of course the Holy Fire but ordinary
light, still blessed of course from the prayers of the priest, the holiness
of the Holy of Holies etc., but not the Uncreated Holy Light."

the column from which the Holy Light came out in 1549, being riped in two:
« Last Edit: April 29, 2005, 07:30:27 AM by lpap »
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