Muslim dating network
Muslims have been entrusted with the keys since 1187, primarily because the various Christian factions which reside in the church cannot agree to nearly anything, and therefore to keep the church and its shrine open, the keys are entrusted to a Muslim family.
According to historical records, and Adeeb Jawad Joudeh, who holds the keys, they have been handed down from one generation to the next, since being given to the family in 1187 by Sultan Saladin.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A story reported by the IPS details the strange arrangement that has dominated the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for a very long time.
Each day, the story reports, a Muslim man, and the only man with permission to wield the keys, unlocks and opens the door to the Church, while three factions within the church vie for control in disputes that frequently leave the church in disrepair and occasionally result in altercations, requiring Israeli police come to mediate the conflict.
They include the Franciscan order of the Latin Church as well as monks from various Eastern and Oriental rites of the Church. The disagreements between the monks are often so bad that on several notable occasions in recent history, physical conflicts have erupted between the monks and the Israeli police have had to come in to restore order.
One notable feature of the shrine is the "immovable ladder," a ladder that has literally remained unmoved since being set in place by a worker in 1757, or possibly earlier.
Notably, the ladder disappeared for several days in 1997, possibly as a prank, but it was soon returned.
This is why the holiest site in all Christendom must be unlocked by a Muslim and policed by Jews.
It's not a flattering depiction of Christianity and it reveals just how much work the Church must do to heal the divisions in her midst.
For now, we can pray the status quo continues as it has since 1187, and the site remains open for all pilgrims, as it should.
In the holiest place of all Christendom, a single Muslim holds the key, Christians fight with one another, and Jewish police intervene -- among the Christians -- to keep the peace.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site of Christ's burial and resurrection, is also one of the most ironic places in all Christendom.