The man in charge of the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem has taken it upon himself to refuse to meet with Vice President Pence when he visits the Old City of Jerusalem in December.
According to Israel's Channel 2 News, Adeeb Joudeh wrote:
It has come to our attention that Vice President Pence intends to make an official visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and asked me to receive him officially. I absolutely refuse to officially welcome the American Vice President Mr. Mike Pence at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and I will not be physically in church during his visit. This is an expression of my condemnation of President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
According to Christian tradition, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is where Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and resurrected.
The Times of Israel reported that a church official downplayed Joudeh’s remarks, stating, “We didn’t receive any formal or informal request and if there is a request, there is a status quo procedure to respect involving the three communities. Anyway it is not up to one of the key keepers to decide anything about this kind of issue.”
Joudeh was echoing the leader of Egypt's Coptic Christian Church, who said last week he refused to meet with Pence because President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital came "at an unsuitable time and without consideration for the feelings of millions of people."