Sunday, April 20, 2008


I thought this post would just speak for itself:,2933,351883,00.html


Josh Brisby said...

Here is the article in case the link doesn't work later.

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.

orthodox said...

While there is no doubt these episodes are shameful, it isn't actually a scuffle within Eastern Orthodoxy. Contrary to the article, which is confused, the Armenian church is not a part of Eastern Orthodoxy.

So I'm afraid, non sequitur on this one.

Josh Brisby said...


Why would you say that Armenian Orthodoxy is not a part of Eastern Orthodoxy?

Josh Brisby said...


OK, I'll answer for you. It sounds to me here that you are being inconsistent. In the Q & A, you tried to say that there wasn't really that much difference between you and the mia-physites, that it was just a matter of semantics. Do you consider them Christians or not?

Jnorm888 said...


What he meant is that they are not EO. They are OO.

And yes one can still see it as semantics. What happened in that pick was more of a cultural issue between greeks and Armenians than a theological issue.

The greeks and Armenians have been going at it for centuries. At one time the Armenians were almost in communion with the Russian Orthodox Church. So it's not really a theological issue.

The Muslim Caliphate was the one that set up the compromize. It's an old system that needs to be revised since Islam no longer has a caliphate.

It really all started when the Fransicans took over during the crusades. After the Crusades were over the Muslim Caliphate had to divide everything all up.

So it's more of a cultural issue.

Noone said that healing will happen over night. It takes time to heal old wounds.

The Armenians seem to have better relations with EO in the Americas.


Josh Brisby said...


The point is, he tried to dismiss this as "they aren't EO" in the sense that it wouldn't matter, but in my q and a, he tried to chalk my question on whether OO was right or EO was right to just say that it was mere semantics. In other words, he's using whichever side to suit his purposes when it works for him. He's being inconsistent.

In other words, if it doesn't really matter whether one goes to OO or EO, then why try to defend EO by saying of the article that "well they're not EO anyways"?

I'll ask a simpler question: Are the OO "Orthodox" to you, or not? Or are the EO the only "Orthodox"?

Canadian said...

Funny Presbyterian ecclesiastical hearing:

Funny Presbyterian sportsmanship:
"As a matter of fact, the football rivalry with Davidson grew so intense that a fight erupted in 1925. The two teams were playing on neutral ground in Rock Hill, a town about equally divided into partisan camps. Suddenly, the hard contact on the field led to fist-fights among the players, then spread to students in the stands. Although hardly a riot, this affair did cause football relationships between the two Presbyterian schools to be sus-pended for the next 25 years."

And how many "funny" Reformed/Presbyterian/Baptist church splits and law suits could we talk about?

We all have "funny" expressions of unity and love that aren't very funny. The Reformed taking up arms over doctrine, silent Lutheran's during the holocaust, Roman Catholic atrocities, Eastern Orthodox opression and corruption, endless Evangelical schism, division and heresies.

Jnorm888 said...

To Josh,

Yes, My jurisdiction already has good relations with our OO syrian counterpart.

The Armenians and Greeks I know, didn't like what happened, but it's an old rule made up by the Muslim Caliph.....that if you don't protect your turf, then you will loose it forever.

It's a stupid and outdated rule, but I am praying for them.


orthodox said...

"I'll ask a simpler question: Are the OO "Orthodox" to you, or not? Or are the EO the only "Orthodox"?"

Theologically, a good argument could be made that they are orthodox.

However, nobody ever claimed that the Armenians are within the unity of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Clearly they are in schism. Schism is the opposite of unity. By pointing out evidence that Armenians and Greeks are in schism is not news.

I don't see the inconsistency. Unity of communion and differences in theology are not the same.

Josh Brisby said...


Is it not the current position of the EO church that the OO are in heresy? Or is it the current position of the EO that they are orthodox? Or is this one a difference within EO?

Jnorm888 said...


You can be in Schizm without being heretical.

What is heretical is "Monophysitism".

Since OO rejects "Monophysitism" re-unification is being looked at.

But you obviously don't understand this.


orthodox said...

It's the position of the EO church that it is reluctant to comment officially about those outside the EO church.

Josh Brisby said...


You didn't answer my question. I asked if OO is considered orthodox, or if it's a difference between EO how they are to be considered.

You obviously didn't understand the question.

Anonymous said...

The use of the word "Orthodox" here is like the one word "nap" in a compound word like kidnap and catnap.

Orthodox in "Eastern Orthodox" has as much in common with "Oriental Orthodox" as it does with "Orthodox Presbyterian".

Have you seen any Orthodox Presbyterian Icons lately?


Jnorm888 said...

We don't comment on the status of salvation of those not in full communion with EO.


Jnorm888 said...

To Anom,

We have alot in common with OO.