This was passed on to me earlier today in an email. As news, it comes a few days late:
Kerfuffles and fisticuffs are nothing new among the various churches that share custody of the major shrines of the Holy Land. Raymond Cohen’s study, Saving the Holy Sepulchre (Oxford, 2008), not only highlights a few of these colorful moments in intra-Christian relations, but illustrates how lack of agreement over how to manage and care for such spaces has imperiled (at times) the fabric of these ancient, holy places.
As a Christian with sympathetic ties to and respect for the Armenian, Byzantine and Roman traditions, I lament that these spats occasionally erupt. I have to wonder how such internal scuffles appear to Christians without an appreciation of the difficult history of these places — or without concern for the ancient historic churches. Moreover, I have to wonder — I can only imagine — how such things appear to non-Christians, whether they are believers in some religious system or not.
Let us pray for one another.