Mormon Church leaders apologized to the family of Holocaust survivor and Jewish rights advocate Simon Wiesenthal after his parents were posthumously baptized, a controversial ritual that Mormons believe allows deceased people a way to the afterlife but offends members of many other religions.
Records indicate Simon Wiesenthal’ parents, Asher and Rosa Rapp Wiesenthal, were baptized in proxy ceremonies performed by Mormon church members at temples in Arizona and Utah in late January.
The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced the baptismal rites, and the Church immediately apologized, saying it was the action of an individual member of church — whom they did not name — that led to the submission of the Wiesenthals’ names.
“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 CLDS said in a statement issued Monday. “We consider this a serious breach of our protocol and we have suspended indefinitely this person’s ability to access our genealogy records.”