Wiesenthal's parents baptized as Mormons

Feb. 14, 2012 at 2:59 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The posthumous baptism of Simon Wiesenthal's parents was a violation of church policy, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints says.

Scott Trotter, a spokesman for the church, called it a "serious breach of our protocol," The Salt Lake Tribune reported. He said the church member who arranged the baptism has been indefinitely suspended from being able to access the church's genealogical archives.

Under church policy, Mormons are not supposed to submit names of Jewish Holocaust victims or celebrities for posthumous baptism unless they are direct descendents.

Wiesenthal, a Nazi-hunter who survived four years in concentration camps in World War II, died in 2005 at the age of 97. His mother was killed in the Belzec death camp and his father, a soldier in the Austro-Hungarian Army, was killed during World War I.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, said the center is "outraged" that posthumous baptisms of Holocaust victims continue. "Such actions make a mockery of the many meetings with the top leadership of the Mormon church," he said.

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