(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)


BY ALYSSA CARTEE

ANCHOR LAUREN GORES


It’s a long-fought religious controversy that’s turned political. This week the Mormon church landed in hot water for posthumously baptising victims of the Holocaust — a practice which was officially banned in 1995. The National Post reports.

“The Mormon church apologized on Tuesday for the posthumous baptism by its members of the parents of famed Nazi hunter and Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal. ... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in its written apology, suggested that the action was the work of one member who they said has since been disciplined.”

Mormons believe that a baptism within the church is the only way to enter heaven. It’s a common practice in the church to baptise members’ ancestors.

But critics say the practice takes on a new tone when the dead who are baptised were killed because of their religion. Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel’s name was found in the church’s records for baptism. He is calling on Mitt Romney to speak out against his church’s practices.

“...the moment he heard about this, he should have spoken up, because he is running for the presidency of the United States, which means it's too serious of an issue for him not to speak up."

Reporters for CNN say bringing politics into this religious issue was unavoidable.

“And now we’ve dragged politics into this. It may have been inevitable considering the year and the climate we’re in.”

A blogger for The New Yorker says the focus on religion has stalled the real issues.

“Lately, the G.O.P. contenders … have been acting as though they are actually competing in a pageant to choose the most Christian of them all. … What one can say is that suspicion and anger related to faith has become a part of the conversation in this campaign—and not, so far, a very productive one.”

A reporter for NPR points out many Mormons don’t see the proxy baptisms as controversial at all.

“Many Mormons wonder why some are so angered by a practice that has no effect if the deceased soul rejects it.”

But a reporter for The Daily Beast says the history of the Jewish people makes the practice offensive.

“So I think the idea of ‘be baptized, convert to Christianity or die’ has been the mantra over centuries. Jews are really upset by the word ‘baptism.’”

The Mormon Church did apologize for the recent baptisms and said the individual responsible has lost access to genealogy records. 

 

 

Mormon Church Apologizes for Baptising Holocaust Victims

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Feb 16, 2012

Mormon Church Apologizes for Baptising Holocaust Victims

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)


BY ALYSSA CARTEE

ANCHOR LAUREN GORES


It’s a long-fought religious controversy that’s turned political. This week the Mormon church landed in hot water for posthumously baptising victims of the Holocaust — a practice which was officially banned in 1995. The National Post reports.

“The Mormon church apologized on Tuesday for the posthumous baptism by its members of the parents of famed Nazi hunter and Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal. ... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in its written apology, suggested that the action was the work of one member who they said has since been disciplined.”

Mormons believe that a baptism within the church is the only way to enter heaven. It’s a common practice in the church to baptise members’ ancestors.

But critics say the practice takes on a new tone when the dead who are baptised were killed because of their religion. Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel’s name was found in the church’s records for baptism. He is calling on Mitt Romney to speak out against his church’s practices.

“...the moment he heard about this, he should have spoken up, because he is running for the presidency of the United States, which means it's too serious of an issue for him not to speak up."

Reporters for CNN say bringing politics into this religious issue was unavoidable.

“And now we’ve dragged politics into this. It may have been inevitable considering the year and the climate we’re in.”

A blogger for The New Yorker says the focus on religion has stalled the real issues.

“Lately, the G.O.P. contenders … have been acting as though they are actually competing in a pageant to choose the most Christian of them all. … What one can say is that suspicion and anger related to faith has become a part of the conversation in this campaign—and not, so far, a very productive one.”

A reporter for NPR points out many Mormons don’t see the proxy baptisms as controversial at all.

“Many Mormons wonder why some are so angered by a practice that has no effect if the deceased soul rejects it.”

But a reporter for The Daily Beast says the history of the Jewish people makes the practice offensive.

“So I think the idea of ‘be baptized, convert to Christianity or die’ has been the mantra over centuries. Jews are really upset by the word ‘baptism.’”

The Mormon Church did apologize for the recent baptisms and said the individual responsible has lost access to genealogy records. 

 

 

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