Journalist Heather Lende has been writing obituaries in the small town of Haines, Alaska, for 20 years.
A former Mormon is claiming that she’s found yet another Holocaust victim who’s been baptized posthumously into the Mormon faith, something Mormons call proxy baptism, and this time, it’s Anne Frank.
The news comes on a day when potential Republican vice presidential candidate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, revealed in his upcoming memoir that he was a Mormon when he was a child–though he is currently a practicing Catholic.
In 1995 and again in 2010, the Church of Latter-day Saints agreed to not baptize Holocaust victims.
Last week researcher Helen Radkey brought to light the fact that the parents of Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal were posthumously baptized by church members, and the church apologized.
In response to Radkey’s claim about Anne Frank, the church released this statement:
The church keeps its word and is absolutely firm in its commitment to not accept the names of Holocaust victims for proxy baptism.
It takes a good deal of deception and manipulation to get an improper submission through the safeguards we have put in place.
While no system is foolproof in preventing the handful of individuals who are determined to falsify submissions, we are committed to taking action against individual abusers by suspending the submitter’s access privileges. We will also consider whether other Church disciplinary action should be taken.
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.
Peter O’Dowd follows the route of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train 150 years ago, to look at modern-day race relations and Lincoln's legacy.