The Immovable Ladder



An edict from 1757 by Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid I followed by another edict by Sultan Abdülmecid I in 1852, decrees, as edicts do, that if more then one group take possesion ao a holy place, they must be in agreement regarding any change that can be made to that place.

No less then six Christian groups have asked for possesion of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

The ladder is referred to as "immovable" due to an understanding that no cleric of the six ecumenical Christian orders may move, rearrange, or alter any property without the consent of the other five orders.

In 1964, after a visit to Jerusalem, Pope Paul VI decreed that the ladder was to remain in place until such a time as the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church reach a state of ecumenism (the principle or aim of promoting unity among the world's Christian churches). The ladder has since been related to the agreement of Status Quo that defined the six Christian religious orders that claim rights over the use of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The primary conflicts, however, surrounding the ladder and its immovability have been disputed by a lasting conflict between the Greek Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church.