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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Who is a Rabbi, and Who is a Nun ? Caveat Emptor.


Sister Elaine Kelley

We live in a free country, and anyone is legally entitled to call himself a Rabbi, a "Reverend," a priest, a minister. All such titles and degrees are available by mail order, for little money. But who needs to buy through the mails ? You want to be, say, a priest of the Very Catholic Diocese of Utopia, be my guest. Print your cards. On the computer.

All that is well known and generally discounted by the discerning public. So it should come as no surprise -- but it did -- that being a nun, sort of, is as easily accomplished.

Out in the state of Oregon, there is a support group for anti-Israel Palestinian Christians that calls itself Friends of Sabeel. What does Sabeel mean ? Well, never mind. But it so happens that when I wrote to this group to exchange some views regarding the legitimacy of Israel, the person charged with answering my mail was Sister Elaine Kelley, SFCC. What does SFCC mean ? "Sisters for Christian Community." The Sabeel site tells us that Sr. Kelley is a Roman Catholic. But who or what is SFCC ? The Catholic Church does not recognize this group. It's strictly a home-made, self-made ploy, well, to mislead. Two items in the New York Times (1, 2) tell much of the story. OK, nothing new in this. As ever, please, caveat emptor.

Addendum, February 23: The mainline Christian group Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East has condemned Sabeel's message as anti-Semitic.

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