ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 24 Jul 2001   For week ended July 20, 2001
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church

Sent on Mormon-News: 20Jul01

By Kent Larsen

Catholic Decision to Exclude Mormon Baptisms Attracts Wide Attention

ROME, ITALY -- A Catholic Church decision, announced Tuesday in the official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, says that LDS baptisms will no longer be accepted as valid by the Catholic Church. Since Tuesday's announcement, the change in policy has made national news in the US, carried in the Associated Press' wire service and printed in newspapers worldwide.

The newspaper indicated that the decision was based purely on theological grounds. The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reviewed the policy after it received a request to look at the validity of Mormon baptisms in conversion. The source of the request was not specified. The Congregation cited critical doctrinal differences between the LDS Church and Catholics which mean that, in the Catholic view, LDS baptism "is not the Baptism that Christ instituted."

Generally, the Catholic Church accepts the baptisms of other Christian denominations, as do many other traditional Christian denominations. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not accept the baptisms of other churches, and LDS spokesman Michael Otterson told the Salt Lake Tribune Wednesday that the LDS Church is "neither concerned nor offended" by the Vatican's decision. "We believe that all people have a God-given right to worship how, where or what they may," he said. "Latter-day Saints embrace revelations both ancient and modern that proclaim Jesus Christ as the living, divine Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world."

Both LDS and Catholic officials stressed that this decision only affected Catholic practice -- converts from Mormonism must now be baptized into the Catholic Church. It does not affect the way the Church's treat each other, Utah's Catholic Bishop, George Neiderauer, said it was important that his church's baptism statement not be construed as "judging or measuring" the validity of the "spiritual relationship" Mormons have with Christ. "There's a danger of misunderstanding in all this," he said. "This is an internal church decision to guide our sacramental practice and that's really all it is." Otterson agreed: "We often work with other religions to strengthen home, family and community and to serve those in need. We value our long-standing relationships with Catholic Charities and other benevolent organizations sponsored by the Catholic Church."

But the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did specify doctrinal issues behind the decision, saying that it could not accept the belief that "God the father had a wife, the Celestial Mother, with whom he procreated Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit." It also specified the differences in beliefs about the Trinity, or Godhood, and LDS belief that God and Christ have bodies of flesh and bone.

Bishop Neiderauer, unlike many evangelical christians, was also careful about the issue of whether Mormons can be called Christian, in spite of the doctrinal differences between the two Churches. He observed that the LDS Church's commitment to moral conduct and service to others is praiseworthy and worthy of emulation. And he added, "If a man or woman of whatever church says to me, 'I believe Jesus Christ is my savior and I try to follow him and live my life according to his teachings and therefore I am a Christian,' who am I to say I know better?" he said.


LDS Baptism Not Valid for New Catholics
Salt Lake Tribune 19Jul01 N1
By Bob Mims: Salt Lake Tribune

Catholic Church decides not to accept Mormon baptisms
New Orleans LA Times-Picayune (AP) 19Jul01 N1
Associated Press


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information