Feuding Christian factions at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem have for once agreed – the Muslim Kingdom of Jordan will pay to renovate the church.
Jordan’s king has announced that he will fund the renovation of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher — the Jerusalem holy site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
In a statement this week, the Royal Court said King Abdullah would pay for the project himself.
The three major Christian denominations that operate the church — Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian Orthodox — have agreed to cooperate in the restoration, a rare instance of agreement between the factions who have been battling each other for the control of the site for generations.
Bishop William Shomali, the church’s vicar in Jerusalem, said in a statement released by the Vatican on Tuesday that the king’s announcement illustrates his “kindness towards Christians” and his “concern to preserve the heritage of Christianity.”
According to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the aedicle, which is the traditional place of burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, will be the site of the restoration. The aedicle was originally constructed in the early 19th century by the Greek Orthodox community and has remained untouched since 1947, when the ruling British Mandate put in place steel support beams as part of a restoration project that never took place.
The Latin Patriarchate said that restoration work was needed because reports revealed grave structural problems due to moisture from the “condensation of the breath of visitors” and oxidation from candle smoke.
Jordan controlled the Old City of Jerusalem, until Israel unified its capital in 1967, and continues to play a role safeguarding Muslim and Christian holy sites.
By: AP, JNS.org and United with Israel Staff
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