What a news agency calls "an unholy row" broke out between Greek Orthodox and Armenian clergy Wednesday over the cleaning of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
"Following Christmas celebrations, dozens of black-clad clerics from both churches, armed with brooms and cleaning materials, began to work on different parts of the church, built over the site where Jesus Christ is believed to have been born.
But an Armenian priest supervising the work thought that a broom held by a Greek Orthodox priest encroached on their space, and angry words swiftly became a fight.
Palestinian policemen at the scene intervened and the priests resumed their cleaning. ... A second fight was also quelled."
The church is shared by various branches of Christianity, "each of which controls and jealously guards a part of the holy site," according to the AFP report.
This isn't the first time priests have scuffled at the site. Seven were injured in a 2007 fracas.
You just can't help but wonder what the Lord might make of it - especially at this time of year ("peace on earth ... good will toward men," etc.) For the love of ...
Here's video of the latest skirmish:
-- Tom Uhler, online news editor