A former Mormon claims a temple in the Dominican Republic posthumously baptized Anne Frank over the weekend, bringing up a controversial issue that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints condemns and has Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel calling for Mitt Romney to speak up.
Helen Radkey, a Salt Lake City researcher, told The Huffington Post the Holocaust victim was baptized by proxy on Saturday, violating a 2010 pact between Jewish leaders and the Mormon Church. A screenshot taken by a database only accessible to members of the church shows that Annelis Marie Anne Frank was both baptized and confirmed on Feb. 18, 2012, at the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple.
The LDS Church has condemned the act. According to a statement obtained by Fox 14, the Church said a great deal of deception must have been involved to let the baptism happen.
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, the statement said.
Frank, who died at the Bergen Belsen concentration camp in 1945 at age 15, has been baptized by proxy nine times from 1989 to 1999, Radkey said. Mormons and Jews first negotiated in 1995 to stop LDS from posthumously baptizing Holocaust victims, but Wiesel and other Jewish leaders campaigned to end the practice again in 2010 after reports that the ritual continued.
Mormons have been practicing baptism for the dead since 1840. According to their religious doctrine, the ritual is a way to allow those who weren't baptized during their lives to enter the Kingdom of God.
The controversy began last week when The Huffington Post reported that Mormons were also trying to baptize Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who is still living, and already had posthumously baptized the parents of Simon Wiesenthal, another survivor who hunted down at lead 1,000 Nazi war criminals.
Wiesel told Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC that presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a practicing Mormon, should condemn the act given his prominence.
Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and I respect all religions, including the Mormon religion, Wiesel said in a Feb. 15 interview. How come that he hasn't spoken up after all? It's not, I'm sure he's not involved in that. But nevertheless, the moment he heard about this, he should have spoken up, because he is running for the presidency of the United States, which means it's too serious of an issue for him not to speak up.