Catholic officials in Jerusalem have suggested a world-wide appeal for funds to carry out repairs to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which was damaged by fire last week.
Other bodies which share in the control of this Church, one of the most sacred places in Christendom. are understood to oppose this plan on the grounds that it might give the Catholic Church greater control over the Holy Places in Jerusalem.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre escaped possibly irreparable damage when the ancient edifice was endangered by a spectacular fire which burned for 28 hours and destroyed the outer covering of the dome.
The interior was, however, left virtually intact, apart from damage caused by water seepage. There were no casualties and reconstruction was begun immediately after the flames had been extinguished. The fire is said to have been caused by workmen using blow lamps in repairing the dome, which was damaged by mortar shells during the siege of Jerusalem last year. Several of the workers are said to have been arrested.
The local fire department, reinforced by units of the Arab Legion, the Royal Air Force and fire fighters from Amman, capital of Jordan, were hampered by water shortage and low pressure in combatting the flames.