Mormon church apologizes for baptisms of Wiesenthal’s parents
BY PEGGY FLETCHER STACK THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
An LDS Church member last month posthumously baptized the parents of Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor and Jewish rights advocate, and the Los Angeles center named for him is incensed.
"We are outraged that such insensitive actions continue in the Mormon temples," Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, said in a statement on the group’s website. "Such actions make a mockery of the many meetings with the top leadership of the Mormon church."
LDS officials in Salt Lake City were quick to apologize Monday, saying that the Utah-based faith "sincerely regret[s] that the actions of an individual member ... led to the inappropriate submission of these names," which were "clearly against the policy of the church."
"We consider this a serious breach of our protocol," spokesman Scott Trotter said in a statement, "and we have suspended indefinitely this person’s ability to access our genealogy records."
Gary Mokotoff, a Jewish genealogist in New Jersey who has been using the church’s massive records collection for decades, is cautiously optimistic about the religion’s response. In fact, he was told in writing that the church also suspended access for the culprit’s wife.