Mormon church in USA apologizes for posthumous baptism of Jews
The Mormon church has apologized for the posthumous baptism by its members of the parents of famed Nazi hunter and Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal. The posthumous baptisms were performed in Mormon churches in Utah, Arizona, and Idaho, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization named after the man who hunted down more than 1,000 Nazi war criminals including Adolf Eichmann in the years following the Holocaust.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in its written apology on Tuesday, suggested that the action was the work of one member who they said has since been disciplined.
“We sincerely regret that the actions of an individual member of the Church led to the inappropriate submission of these names,” Michael Purdy, a spokesman for the Church, said in a statement e-mailed to Reuters. “The policy of the Church is that members can request these baptisms only for their own ancestors. Proxy baptisms of Holocaust victims are strictly prohibited,” he added.
Wiesenthal’s mother Rosa died at the Belzec concentration camp in Poland in 1942. His father, Asher Wiesenthal, died during the First World War.