LDS Church Apologizes for the Proxy Baptism of Simon Wiesenthal’s Parents.

The following teaser is from an article published February 20, 2012 edition of the Calgary Herald.

LOS ANGELES – Simon Wiesenthal’s parents should not have been posthumously baptized, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has acknowledged. And on Monday, an official with the church apologized.

The uproar began last week when it was discovered that a member of the Mormon Church had submitted for posthumous baptism the names of Wiesenthal’s parents, and that the couple, Asher and Rosa Rapp Wiesenthal, were baptized by proxy last month.

Simon Wiesenthal, who died in 2005, was a Jewish rights advocate and a survivor of the Holocaust. He spent decades hunting down Nazis and bringing them to justice. The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, established in 1977, is named after him.

The Mormon Church member, who is not being identified by the Salt Lake City-based church, used a genealogical database to submit the names for proxy baptism. Such baptisms have proved controversial in the past, and the latest incident was certainly no exception.

Read the full article.

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (, writes daily at, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

3 thoughts on “LDS Church Apologizes for the Proxy Baptism of Simon Wiesenthal’s Parents.”

  1. I can understand why some people might/are offended.
    My grandmother can be found with her parents and 2 siblings from the records taken from Germany records. She was born July 1869 in Herford Germany.
    A number of years ago I found documents at LDS website. My grandmother had been baptized in the manner common to LDS beliefs.

    This did not upset me. I don’t believe as the LDS but I don’t see any harm in what they have done.

    I do thank them for all the records they have made available for people to work on family genealogy.

    Tom Bonorden

  2. Can anyone tell me how you find out if any of your deceased relatives/ancestors have been posthumously baptised into the Mormon church?
    It would not greatly concern me if this had been done, as the deceased person’s religion and baptism in their own church, would be the only one that would be officially recognised, but I would like to know, nonetheless.
    Teri Forsyth

  3. Please understand that just because their ordinances are done, doesn’t mean they are accepted by the person(s) they are being performed for. Everyone (dead or alive) has a choice and they certainly have the choice not to accept. is the old site that’s currently open to the public. is the new site that may not be open to the public yet.

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