Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

World Bishops ordered to deny Mormons Access to Records

H/T to AmP. CNS has an article about a letter published by the Vatican ordering Bishops to deny access to diocesan and parish records to Mormon Genealogical Societies. The fear being posthumous baptisms. From the article:

In an effort to block posthumous rebaptisms by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Catholic dioceses throughout the world have been directed by the Vatican not to give information in parish registers to the Mormons' Genealogical Society of Utah. The order came in light of "grave reservations" expressed in a Jan. 29 letter from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the clergy congregation's letter said. "This dicastery is bringing this matter to the attention of the various conferences of bishops," the letter reads. "The congregation requests that the conference notifies each diocesan bishop in order to ensure that such a detrimental practice is not permitted in his territory, due to the confidentiality of the faithful and so as not to cooperate with the erroneous practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Posthumous Baptism or Baptism by proxy is a practice the Mormons have been using for over a century. It gets its justification from 1 Cor 15:29: Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them? According to Wikipedia the practice was outlawed by the Church in the 4th century as an aberrant practice of certain heretical groups.

The letter was dated 10 days prior to the Papal Visit, although it's just now coming to light, even after two Mormon representatives joined the Pontiff for an interreligious prayer service. Fr. Massa the spokesperson for the USCCB acknowledged that this may pose an issue for interreligious dialogue.
"It certainly has that potential," he said. "But I would also say that the purpose of interreligious dialogue is not to only identify agreements, but also to understand our differences. As Catholics, we have to make very clear to them their practice of so-called rebaptism is unacceptable from the standpoint of Catholic truth."
Case in point is that neither church recognizes the others form of Baptism. If a Mormon becomes a Catholic they must be rebaptized and vice versa. The LDS church (Mormons) have a scandalous view of the God-head from traditional Christianity. From the CNS document:
When issuing its 2001 ruling, the Vatican said that even though the Mormon baptismal rite refers to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the church's beliefs about the identity of the three persons are so different from Catholic and mainline Christian belief that the rite cannot be regarded as a Christian baptism. Latter-day Saints regard Jesus and the Holy Spirit as children of the Father and the Heavenly Mother. They believe that baptism was instituted by the Father, not Christ, and that it goes back to Adam and Eve.
The 2001 ruling in question was the order not to recognize Mormon Baptisms. It does solidify the Church's position that Mormonism is a heretical cult. And because I like the word, it means I'm within my faculties to use it here - Joseph Smith is therefore a heresiarch. But we live in a post conciliar Catholic world and as such "Profound theological differences are not an excuse for avoiding dialogue, but a reason for pursuing dialogue," Father Massa said.

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1 comment:

Mormons Are Christian said...

Is First Century Christianity a "cult"?

Mormons are not Creedal Christians. However, they do believe in the Jesus Christ of the New Testament:

The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is often accused by Evangelical pastors of not believing in Christ and, therefore, not being a Christian religion. This article http://mormonsarechristian.blogspot.com/ helps to clarify such misconceptions by examining early Christianity's comprehension of baptism, the Godhead, the deity of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) adheres more closely to First Century Christianity and the New Testament than any other denomination. For example, Harper’s Bible Dictionary entry on the Trinity says “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the New Testament.”

One Baptist blogger stated “99 percent of the members of his Baptist church believe in the Mormon (and Early Christian) view of the Trinity. It is the preachers who insist on the Nicene Creed definition.” It seems to me the reason the pastors denigrate the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is to protect their flock (and their livelihood).

Further reading; http://jesuschrist.lds.org/SonOfGod/eng/