Why? Why do they do this every year (or it seems like every year)? If religious priests cannot demonstrate the values taught by Christ, how ... how can they be allowed to remain in those positions. Their actions bring disrespect upon Christianity.
From Enas Muthaffar and Kevin Flower, CNNDecember 28, 2011
Bethlehem, West Bank (CNN) - Clergy from two Christian sects came to blows in the Church of the Nativity on Wednesday morning, prompting police to storm the Bethlehem holy site.
Several dozen Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests were cleaning the interior of the church Wednesday morning when, according to witnesses, two of them began fighting.
The fight quickly escalated, and soon, 50 to 60 priests were exchanging blows with broomsticks.
Bethlehem police were sent in to quell the fighting, Palestinian police Maj. Ahed Hasayen said.
"This is an internal problem related to the Nativity church only. The Palestinian police had to interfere to stop the clashes as soon as possible to avoid devastating consequences," he said.
According to tour guide Ghassen Tos, the fight, while intense, was short in duration.
“This did not last for long as soon as the Palestinian police interfered and succeeded to halt the clashes immediately,” he said.
There were no reports of any serious injuries.
The Church of the Nativity is built in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on the site where Christian tradition holds Jesus Christ was born, and it is a major attraction for tourists coming to the Holy Land.
The interior of the church is traditionally cleaned by priests in between celebrations of Christmas on December 25 and the Orthodox celebration in the first week of January.
The church is administered jointly by the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian religious authorities, and tension between the sects is not uncommon.
In 2007, clergy from the same sects came to blows in a similar incident.