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Even the Greeks can't get along

by michael November 04 2007
Municipal news



For all its beauty, splendor and kosher dairy cafe/restaurants, Jerusalem is still cast in the world at large as one humanity's most turbulent capitals, the font from which all religious strife in the world gushes out.

But that's too glib, Jerusalemite says. Sure, the city may be home and holy to three major religions, but even if the religions' followers don't get on well with those of other faiths, at least they probably live in harmony with their co-religionists, right?

Well, then again, we have ultra-Orthodox "Death to Zionists" graffiti in Meah maybe not...

But you should at least expect that followers of a particular sect of a religion get along with other members of their sect.

But then, not so long ago, we saw Religious Zionist IDF officer Elazar Stern attacked at the Western Wall by other Religious Zionists for his support of the Disengagement from Gaza...

Okay, okay, let Jerusalemite try again. If co-religionists can't make peace, and sects can't see eye-to-eye, then at least one would think that similarly high-ranking clergy in an ancient and established religious order could find it in their holy old hearts to agree.

Sigh. It seems not.

A scuffle over religious items broke out between current Greek Orthodox Patriarch Archbishop Theopilus III and his predecessor Irineos I at the former patriarch's residence in the Greek Orthodox Church compound in Jerusalem on Thursday.

Armed with a court order, Patriarch Theophilus and a few others arrived to Irineos' residence in order to photograph the items which are currently in the former patriarch's possession. However, when they attempted to enter Irineos' home, the former patriarch's security guards refused them entry.

Theophilus requested the Shalom District Court in Jerusalem to instruct Irineos to hand over church memorabilia whose value is estimated to be in the millions of dollars. The Greek Orthodox Patriarch claims that Irineos is holding a collection of church items including centuries-old religious icons, church crosses and other objects that are traditionally transferred from generation to generation within the church.

The Jews might call that a shande fur die goyim.

This reminds Jerusalemite over the eternal scuffle over the division of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre between the sects of Christianity. 1700 years there's been a church there, and still nobody can agree who changes the light bulbs.

It must be that sweet, piney Jerusalem air.

Photo of a Greek Orthodox monk administering the line to the inner sanctum of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre by Ben Jacobson.

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