The monastery's two chapels and the tiny rooms where its monks live could crumble, injuring the many tourists who visit the site, as well as the monks who live there, and even the ancient Church of the Holy Sepulchre itself.This sounds more serious than the occasional fisticuffs match between the denominations that reside there.
An engineer who examined the structures recently said the complex was a "danger to human life." As long ago as 2004, before the situation worsened to its present emergency state, the Interior Ministry said it would pay for renovations. However, because of a long-standing dispute between the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, whose clergy live at the site, and the Coptic Church, which claims ownership of it, the parties have not managed to reach an agreement that would allow renovations to proceed. The Interior Ministry has made clear to various church officials over the years that it would pay for the work only if the various ownership issues were resolved among the denominations.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
OH OH! "Monastery atop Church of Holy Sepulchre in danger of collapse" (Haaretz).