Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mormon Church Apologizes For Posthumous Baptism of Holocaust Victims; Comment Sought From Romney

The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that Mormon Church leaders have apologized to the family of Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor and activist in tracking down Nazi war criminals, for the posthumous proxy baptism of Wiesenthal's parents who were Holocaust victims. The proxy ceremonies took place last month at Mormon temples in Arizona and Utah, despite an agreement in 2010 between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants that the Church would end the practice by removing the names of Holocaust victims from its data base. Mormon Church spokesman Scott Trotter told the Salt Lake Tribune that the church member who submitted the names of Wiesenthal's parents for baptism engaged in a "serious breach of our protocol, and we have suspended indefinitely this person’s ability to access our genealogy records."

Meanwhile the Huffington Post yesterday reported that Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel is calling for Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney to speak out on the issue of posthumous proxy baptism of Jews after a researcher reported that the names of two of Wiesel's ancestors-- as well as the name of Wiesel himself who is still alive-- had been submitted to a restricted genealogy website from which a process for proxy baptism can be initiated.