The Sun, UK
Dec 28 2011

Affray in a manger for fighting monks

Rival clerics scrap in church built on Jesus' birthplace

POLICE were called to break up a fight between clerics - at the church
believed to be built on the spot where Jesus was born.
Rival groups of broom-wielding Orthodox and Armenian clerics clashed
at the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Palestine, when tensions
flared during the cleaning of the church for the Orthodox Christian
celebrations in early January.

Around 100 priests and monks were thought to be involved in the
dispute, which was over the boundaries of the territory the different
groups care for within the church.

The former Palestinian Minister of Tourism and Head of the Palestinian
forces in Bethlehem were both slightly hurt in the scrap.

Relationships between the Orthodox, Armenian, and Catholic clerics who
share responsibility for the church have often been difficult, and
there have been similar scuffles in recent years.

Lieutenant-Colonel Khaled al-Tamimi said: "It was a trivial problem
that occurs every year.

"Everything is alright and things have returned to normal."

He said there were no arrests made because the monks who were involved
are "men of God".