Sunday, May 04, 2008

Vatican block Mormons from genealogical records

The Catholic News Service reports  the Vatican has ordered catholic parishes to block the church's Genealogical Society of Utah from their records, expressing "grave reservations" regarding proxy ordinances for the dead that occur in Mormon temples.  It has issued a directive to prevent the LDS church from  microfilming and digitizing information contained in their registers.  The Vatican letter calls the church's genealogical practice "detrimental" and asks Bishops  "not to cooperate with the erroneous practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

Father Massa, executive director of the U.S. bishops' Secretariat of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs said "we have to make very clear to them their practice of so-called rebaptism is unacceptable from the standpoint of Catholic truth."

Changes have occurred in the way Catholics view baptism recently.  In 2001, the Catholic church declared Mormon baptisms were not considered valid for Mormons converting to Catholicism. Some other Christian baptisms are considered valid. 

About one year ago, the Catholic church altered it's view on the status of unbaptized children.  Earlier this year, some  speculated that the pope would become a Mormon one year after his death, according to the Mormon practice of baptism for the dead.

Jews have had issues with the Mormon church on and off regarding baptism for the dead.  The Mormon church had promised to remove  Holocaust victims from it's records in 1995, however names continued to be added to the genealogical index and baptisms for the dead continued for them, raising tensions.


James H said...

Just to be clear the Church did not change its postion on Unbaptized children

CB said...

I guess it would have been more accurate to say that the Catholic church reinterpreted the way it understood the relationship between unbaptized children and limbo.

Thanks for the clarification.