ad info




CNN.com
 MAIN PAGE
*  WORLD
   africa
   americas
   asia pacific
   europe
   middle east
 U.S.
 LOCAL
 POLITICS
 WEATHER
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 TECHNOLOGY
 SPACE
 HEALTH
 ENTERTAINMENT
 BOOKS
 TRAVEL
 FOOD
 ARTS & STYLE
 NATURE
 IN-DEPTH
 ANALYSIS
 myCNN

 Headline News brief
 news quiz
 daily almanac

  MULTIMEDIA:
 video
 video archive
 audio
 multimedia showcase
 more services

  E-MAIL:
Subscribe to one of our news e-mail lists.
Enter your address:
Or:
Get a free e-mail account

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 AsiaNow
 En Español
 Em Português
 Svenska
 Norge
 Danmark
 Italian

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 TIME INC. SITES:
 CNN NETWORKS:
Networks image
 more networks
 transcripts

 SITE INFO:
 help
 contents
 search
 ad info
 jobs

 WEB SERVICES:

World - Middle East

Single door in Church of the Holy Sepulchre may not accommodate throngs of pilgrims

entrance
The single doorway of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem serves as the only entrance and exit  

November 13, 1999
Web posted at: 11:33 p.m. EST (0433 GMT)


In this story:

Palestinian families have held keys

Solution may take time

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



From Correspondent Jerrold Kessel

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- The millennium Christmas remains seven weeks away, but the holiday rush has already reached the doorway of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

 VIDEO
VideoCorrespondent Jerrold Kessel reports on concerns that the single entrance to the ancient Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem will be insufficient to accommodate the throngs of pilgrims expected this holiday season
Real 28K 80K
Windows Media 28K 80K
 
  MESSAGE BOARD
Religion today
 

Government and religious officials have grown concerned that the ancient church cannot cope with the burgeoning number of pilgrims crowding the traditional site of the entombment of Jesus, particularly because a single doorway serves as the only entrance and exit.

Six Christian sects keep precious holds on separate parts of the cavernous structure. Orthodox, Latin, Armenian, Coptic, Syrian and Ethiopian clergy preside over different chapels, corridors and halls.

But an extra door would jeopardize a revered historic agreement for guarding the holy site.

"Another door is a new situation. If you have a new door, you would need a new arrangement for that door," said the Rev. Claudio Baratto of the Franciscan order.

Palestinian families have held keys

keyholder
Two prominent Palestinian families have been entrusted as the sole keepers of the keys for 800 years  

A primary concern would be who would possess the keys. To prevent feuding between the rival Christian sects, two prominent Palestinian Islamic families have been the keepers of the keys to the single door for 800 years.

The Christian sects do not formally recognize Israeli control in the old city. The Israelis say they will not intervene unless all the churches request it.

Solution may take time

In the meantime, Baratto, accustomed to considering time periods as long as eternity, said that there may be a resolution, only not in the short term.

"To reach an agreement you need time. For the third millennium it won't be like this. In 1,000 years it won't be like this, perhaps," he quipped.



RELATED STORIES:
Transcript: Christmas Poses Security, Logistical Challenges for Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulcher
November 12, 1999
CNN Special: Israel at 50


RELATED SITES:
Order of Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 LATEST HEADLINES:
SEARCH CNN.com
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.