Mormons to be Rebaptized

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

Folks,

This is an interesting article on Mormonism. The RC church will "rebaptize" Mormons who convert.

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/24/national/24MORM.html

I did find this curious --

"Bishop George Niederauer of Salt Lake City said the diocese's priests and deacons had been performing "conditional baptisms" of Mormon converts, a baptism done when it is uncertain whether a prospective convert was previously baptized."

"'This isn't condemning the L.D.S. faith," the bishop said. "It's just saying it isn't the same as ours.'"

The L.D.S. "faith" deserves to be condemned.

-- Steve Jackson (stevej100@hotmail.com), July 24, 2001

Answers

It is interesting, here's a quote from the article:

The Vatican directive, released last week by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, means the Roman Catholic Church will treat Mormon converts the same way Mormons deal with Catholics, and others, who embrace Mormonism.

"We rebaptize Catholics, we rebaptize Protestants and we rebaptize everyone else," said Michael Otterson, a spokesman for the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mr. Otterson added that the church was "neither concerned nor offended" by the Vatican directive.

But the decisions by two major Christian churches rub against Mormon efforts to be clearly understood as a Christian church, which have included emphasizing the name Jesus Christ in the church's title and discouraging use of Mormon Church as a shorthand label.

Catholic officials said the directive did not constitute a judgment against Mormons, on the relationship of individual Mormons with Jesus or on the ability of the two churches to cooperate. But the ruling makes clear that the church regards Mormonism as varying in its essential beliefs from traditional Christianity. Members of Protestant and Orthodox churches may convert to Catholicism without being rebaptized. ... The Catholic directive was based on a pastoral study of the issue.

"The Mormon understanding of baptism is not the same as the church's understanding of baptism," said Bill Ryan, a spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The directive, Mr. Ryan said, was based on important differences in how the two faiths understand the concept of God as the Trinity Father, Son and Holy Spirit in whose name both churches conduct baptisms.

...

Bishop George Niederauer of Salt Lake City said the diocese's priests and deacons had been performing "conditional baptisms" of Mormon converts, a baptism done when it is uncertain whether a prospective convert was previously baptized.

"This isn't condemning the L.D.S. faith," the bishop said. "It's just saying it isn't the same as ours."

The two churches' baptismal practices differ. The Catholic Church baptizes children born into the faith as infants, typically by 6 months. A bishop, priest or deacon, standing at the baptismal font, pours a small amount of water onto the infant's head. The church also permits adults and adolescents to be baptized by immersion.

Mormons baptize children at 8, which the church considers the "age of accountability." Baptism involves full immersion in the water of a large font in a chapel. Because Mormons have a lay priesthood, baptisms may be performed by any man who holds the requisite priesthood rank.

A commentary on the Catholic Church's directive in L'Osservatore Romano, a Vatican newspaper, said Mormon baptisms did not involve "a true invocation of the Trinity" because Mormons believe the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate divine beings, rather than one God existing within three persons of one substance.

Mormonism, by its own definition a "restoration" of original Christianity, does not draw from the teachings of early church fathers and councils who fully developed the doctrine of the Trinity in response to heretical challenges.

Mr. Otterson acknowledged the differences. "We don't use the term Trinity," he said, adding that the church did not regard that term as originating in the New Testament. "Our perception of God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost is that they are one in purpose, but are separate beings," he said.

Frank

-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), July 24, 2001.


This is a link to an article that gives an explanation as to why Mormon baptism is invalid.

http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=17351

-- Joan A. (joan_1412@yahoo.com), July 24, 2001.


Interesting thread, except for the ludicrous statement that "The L.D.S. 'faith' deserves to be condemned."
Thanks, Frank and Joan, for the details and added info.
JFG

-- (jgecik@desc.dla.mil), July 25, 2001.

Mr. Jackson's choice of words still makes sense. It is a bad faith. If he said, ''Mormons deserve'' that would be wrong. But as a faith it must be condemned. It is false, period. Even so, the Catholic Church is not in the business of publishing denunciations. By re-baptising a Mormon convert, she makes clear where he/she was before receiving the true sacrament. Actions speak louder than words.

Good Saint James, on this thy feast day, we thank thee for bringing the Word of God to us; Pray for this forum! Holy Mother of God; Bless thy Saint in heaven, and give God our thanks for him and for the Holy Gospel! Pray for our forum, Blessed Mother, Amen!

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), July 25, 2001.


Jmj

Gene, please explain to me why you said, "But as a faith [Mormonism] must be condemned."
We don't speak of "condemning" a religion, not even a terribly false one. We can speak of "rejecting the errors" in a false religion. We can speak of mortal sinners who have "condemned" themselves to perdition. But it is of no value to say that a Christian can "condemn" another religion. That does not make verbal sense, and it exhibits a lack of charity.

God bless you.
John

-- (jgecik@desc.dla.mil), July 25, 2001.



Why that's terrible John. A lack of charity. Once again I'm being compared with John the Baptist. He's the patron saint of Christians who are short on charity. Of course, a Mormon is a ''Latter-Day Saint. What am I? Just a Catholic Bozo. Give me a break, John!

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), July 25, 2001.

John,

Would it exhibit a "lack of charity" to condemn Satanism?

-- Steve Jackson (stevej100@hotmail.com), July 27, 2001.


Jmj

No, it would not exhibit a lack of charity, Steve, because satanism is not truly a religion.
I realize that you probably do not agree with this, but the Catholic Church teaches that there is at least some truth and goodness in every genuine religion. That is one of the reasons that none of them should be "condemned."

But satanism is pure evil, 100% -- with no truth and no goodness. It is not a religion, but the absence of religion. [The "lig" in religion comes from "ligare" (to tie/bind), referring to our being bound to hold truths of the faith and being bound to obey God's commandments. Satanists have no faith and disobey God's commandments. They have an "anti-religion."] Therefore, satanism can and should be condemned.

St. James, pray for us.
God bless you.
John

-- (jgecik@desc.dla.mil), July 28, 2001.


I believe there is some truth in every religion as well. For example, Satanism is obviously a religion and it believe at least one thing that is true: that there is a supernatural realm. But it deserves to be condemned because it worships the devil. Mormonism also deserves to be condemned because it professes to be Christian but denies the Trinity and the Deity of Christ.

-- Steve Jackson (SteveJ100@hotmail.com), July 28, 2001.

Steve, and also John--
All of this semantic bobbing and weaving is absurd. I have good friends that are Mormons. In my heart, I think they're being deceived by their ''elders''; and could lose their immortal souls, --without God's mercy. Never would I have that lack of charity to consider them lost, or damned; what I call ''condemned''.

But I was referring to the ''faith''-- the false doctrine of Mormonism. It is never going to lead a person to God's GRACE, just my opinion. Some Mormons believe in leading apparently upright lives, and in self-sacrifice (of sorts). However, GRACE in their souls does not result from ANY faith taught them in their temples.

So to me, the faith of the Church of Latter day Saints is counter-productive to the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is steeped in error and pride and materialism. Till only recently, it taught its faithful to indulge in polygamy. Some have reported that Mormons still are clandestine polygamists, and have never repented of this sin.

So-- what is there about Mormonism that can't or shouldn't be condemned? I mean, leaving out my own ''lack of charity''. Forget how ''some'' good exists in it. Let's all PRAY that its adherents are granted the grace of conversion by Our Lord; before they are personally condemned. As I've seen it, they are living in darkness.

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), July 28, 2001.



Jmj

Gene, I can agree with almost everything you just said. I wish that Mormonism did not exist, but I cannot "condemn" the whole religion. I cannot even do what you suggested: "Forget how 'some' good exists in it."

Gentlemen, please read what the Fathers of Vatican II said in this passage from "Nostra Aetate" (In our age), the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (1965).

---------------- quote ----------------
From ancient times down to the present, there is found among various peoples a certain perception of that hidden power which hovers over the course of things and over the events of human history; at times some indeed have come to the recognition of a Supreme Being, or even of a Father. This perception and recognition penetrates their lives with a profound religious sense.

Religions, however, that are bound up with an advanced culture have struggled to answer the same questions by means of more refined concepts and a more developed language. Thus in Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible abundance of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition either through ascetical practices or profound meditation or a flight to God with love and trust. Again, Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination.

Likewise, other religions found everywhere [including Mormonism -- JFG] try to counter the restlessness of the human heart, each in its own manner, by proposing "ways," comprising teachings, rules of life, and sacred rites. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men.
------------------- end quote ---------------

If you have read this carefully, you have seen that an attitude of respect and collaboration must prevail -- never "condemnation" -- though we have a duty to evangelize these poor people. And if you have read the quotation carefully, you have noticed that I was right in stating that satanism is NOT a religion, but an anti-religion that exists purely for evil, with no good whatsoever, and must be condemned. Every genuine "religion" has something good or holy about it, no matter how small. Goodness/holiness cannot be "condemned" by a Catholic. Steve lacks the authentic Magisterium, so perhaps he thinks he can condemn goodness.

St. James, pray for us.
God bless you.
John

-- (jgecik@desc.dla.mil), July 28, 2001.


John,
Although I'm a servant of the Pope and adhere whole-heartedly to his message of ecumenism and brotherhood, the quotes you have marshalled here to temper our overzealous judgment are basically removed from, irrelevant to this argument. Condemning as a choice of words may be too strong. But the CONTEXT in which I've used it, and the way Steve proposed it, are not uncharitable. Not for this discussion.

You're assuming that we must cover every nuance of every word; for fear of offending. No offense is intended; but I refuse to look over my shoulder because a Mormon might be listening.

Latter Day Saints are flirting with disaster as long as they follow the so-called Book of Mormon. There, I've said it. Is there very much of goodness and truth --in that book? You tell me. I would not touch it with a forty foot pole.

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), July 28, 2001.


Jmj

Gene, I don't want to burden you, but I will try just one last time to convince you that a Catholic must not say, "I condemn Mormonism" -- whether to a Mormon's face or behind his back.

Several months back, someone (Steve Jackson, perhaps) came here and complained that the highest Mormon official had stopped at the Vatican to pay the pope a visit. He was warmly received. The pope surely rejected a very high percentage of what that official believed, but he would NEVER tell him (or us), "I condemn Mormonism." It's not that he was afraid to say it, or that it would not have been politically correct. It's that it would have been inaccurate and uncharitable to say it.

Even if you cling to the idea that you can use that phrase ("I condemn Mormonism"), you ought not to WANT to use it, because it is so "loaded."
The word "condemn" conjures up thoughts of "condemned" buildings, so a non-Catholic [Mormon or otherwise] could picture you as having a desire to destroy all Mormon meeting-places and temples.
The word "condemn" conjures up thoughts of "condemned" prisoners (especially on death row), so a non-Catholic could picture you as having a desire to imprison or even kill all Mormons -- a once persecuted sect.
The word "condemn" conjures up thoughts of "conDAMNED" souls, so a non-Catholic could picture you as having judged all Mormons of being predestined for hell.

And so, when anti-Catholics hear a Catholic say that he "condemns" a religion, that strengthens their prejudice. When they hear this, they go even more wild, moaning about inquisitions, etc..

So I say again, let us take our cue from the pope, who would never say (or even think) that he condemns Mormonism.

St. James, pray for us.
God bless you.
John

-- (jgecik@amdg.ihs), July 29, 2001.


John,

Maybe you should cut and paste a copy of this speech

The word "condemn" conjures up thoughts of "condemned" buildings, so a non-Catholic [Mormon or otherwise] could picture you as having a desire to destroy all Mormon meeting-places and temples.

To Alex (you worship a building) Ruiz.

Frank

-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), July 29, 2001.


No need to copy it, Frank. AR is lurking!

-- (jgecik@amdg.ihs), July 29, 2001.


Moderation questions? read the FAQ