Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel is demanding answers from Mitt Romney over the Church of Latter Day Saints’ practice of baptizing deceased Jews.
Wiesel learned that his name (along with that of his father and maternal grandfather) had been submitted to a restricted Mormon website indicating he was ready for such a baptism. Of course, the 83-year old Wiesel is very much alive, well and is quite annoyed.
These proxy baptisms have long been sticking point between Jews and Mormons. It is estimated that 650,000 of these proxy baptisms have been performed on those who perished in the Holocaust. Despite an agreement by The Church of Latter Day Saints to stop the practice back in 1995 (with the exception of Jews who were ancestors of Mormons) the baptisms persist. Just today, the Church of LDS apologized for the proxy baptism of the parents of the late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal.
Wiesel wants to know if Romney is aware of this practice and if so to call upon the Church of LDS to stop it. For his part, Mitt Romney said in a 2007 interview with Newsweek that he had performed proxy baptisms although it isn’t clear if he’s performed them on Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
When The Huffington Post asked the Romney campaign to comment on Wiesel’s query, they received a reply intended for another Romney official that the query be ignored. Not good.
Now one could make an argument that Wiesel could also direct this question to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. However, if Elie Wiesel asks you a question then you had better well answer it. Romney would be wise to pick up the phone and personally invite Wiesel for a one on one meeting and put this matter behind him.