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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Christ's Tomb Restoration Project Completed - For Now


I'll put my Knights Templar chapeau on for this post.

The long held sacred burial shrine of Christ, the Aedicule within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, has been partially restored over the last year after 200 years of non-stop arguing by the three sets of Catholic denominations (Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Roman Catholic) that control the site. After finally shutting up long enough to begrudgingly permit the €3.3 million project (that included an additional surprising and generous contribution by Jordan's King Abdullah), tourists are once again able to visit this place. It is believed to cover the cave where Jesus was entombed and resurrected. 

Photo showing the old 1947 scaffolding still in place before the 2016 renovation


The curiously distinctive metal scaffolding that surrounded the structure since 1947 when the British welded it in place to "temporarily" stabilize it has finally been removed. So, now the religious authorities can go right back to squabbling with each other again over such vital articles of faith like who has the right to move a ladder once left up against an upper story wall by a workman (the infamous "Immovable Ladder" that hasn't budged since at least 1757, and probably centuries before), and other similarly pressing issues. Even the Ottoman Turks gave up trying to reason with them, and the Roman Catholics' own official Papal policy about the place is literally called the "Status Quo." A rare canonical case of understatement.

But according to this article in National Geographic about the project, the crumbling structural problems underneath the Aedicule have not yet been addressed, and will very soon deteriorate if more work is not undertaken immediately. One wonders if the three denominations will ignore that problem, as they aways have - or just bitch about it, too - until the Israeli authorities again condemn the place and forbid visitors to force their hand, like they had to this time.

It's a testament to Christianity's own sectarian madness (on top of just the Middle East's own special brand of it) to note that the key to lock and unlock the Church's exterior doorway has been entrusted to an Islamic Arab family in Jerusalem for centuries. 


Because the Christians themselves have never gotten along well enough to have custody of the key to Christ's tomb.

Jesus wept.

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