|Page (1) of 1 - 02/14/12||email article||print page|
Mormons apologize for proxy posthumous baptism of Jewish rights advocate Wiesenthal's family
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) ' Mormon church leaders have apologized to the family of Holocaust survivor and Jewish rights advocate Simon Wiesenthal after his parents were posthumously baptized in a Mormon temple ritual last month.
Salt Lake City researcher Helen Radkey found documentation of the baptism while conducting regular checks of a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints genealogical database last week.
Mormons believe posthumous baptism by proxy rites allow deceased persons to receive the Gospel in the afterlife.
The baptism of Holocaust victims was supposed to be barred by a 1995 agreement between the church and Jews, although some submissions continue by church members.
Church officials say the person who entered the names into the database has been disciplined.
In a statement, the California-based Wiesenthal Center expressed outrage and called the rite insensitive.