ReligionNewsBlog.com — Mormons operating independently of the Mormon Church — and in direct contradiction to the church’s edicts on the subject — have posthumously baptized Holocaust victim Anne Frank in a ritual referred to as ‘Baptism for the Dead.’
Anne Frank was the third Holocaust victim discovered toÂ haveÂ beenÂ baptized posthumously this month.
Christian website CARM explains that in this practice “individuals go to their local Mormon temple, dress appropriately for a baptism, representatively adopt the name of a person who has died, and then the Mormon is baptized in water for that deceased person. This way, the dead person has fulfilled the requirements of salvation in the afterworld and can enjoy further spiritual benefits in the spiritual realm.”
CARM shows that the Mormon rite is based on a Bible verse that has been taken out of context.
Earlier this month the Mormon Church apologized for posthumously baptising the parents of Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal.
The Mormon Church, officially name The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), has stipulated that its followers may not perform the proxy baptisms for Holocaust victims who are not related to a church member.
A 2010 pact between the LDS Church and Jewish leaders was supposed to halt the practice of baptizing Jews posthumously. [See: The Mormon/Jewish Controversy], but incidents keep occurring.
Anne Frank’s baptism, which took place in a Mormon Temple in the Dominican Republic, was discovered by former Mormon Helen Radkey.
Radkey said she discovered that Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank, who died at Bergen Belsen death camp in 1945 at age 15, was baptized by proxy on Saturday. Mormons have submitted versions of her name at least a dozen times for proxy rites and carried out the ritual at least nine times from 1989 to 1999, according to Radkey. But Radkey says this is the first time in more than a decade that Frank’s name has been discovered in a database that can be used both for genealogy and also to submit a deceased person’s name to be considered for proxy baptism — a separate process, according to a spokesman for the church. The database is only open to Mormons.
Peggy Fletcher Stack at the Salt Lake Tribune says “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also learned that Jan Karski, a Roman Catholic who witnessed the emerging Holocaust in Poland and risked his life to bring that news to U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, had been similarly baptized.”
She quotes LDS spokesman Michael Purdy as saying that computer access to the database has been suspended for the members who submitted the names of Frank and Karski.
The LDS Church then issued its strongest response yet to the violation of its agreement not to do proxy baptisms for Holocaust victims who are not related to a church member.
“It takes a good deal of deception and manipulation to get an improper submission through the safeguards we have put in place,” Purdy said in an email, language that suggests these baptisms could be the work of mischief makers. “While no system is foolproof in preventing the handful of individuals who are determined to falsify submissions, we are committed to taking action against individual abusers. … We will also consider whether other church disciplinary action should be taken. It is distressing when an individual willfully violates the church’s policy and something that should be understood to be an offering based on love and respect becomes a source of contention.”
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