Monday, May 13, 2013

Catholic history and Genealogy

The Catholic Gene - Exploring Out Catholic Family History

I found this great group blog that happens to focus on my two great interests - Catholic history and genealogy.  Check it out, and if you have not researched your family history consider starting now.  It can be amazing how much you learn and how many people you are connected to in the world.  You will, at some point, end up using the resources of the Mormon church, who have a theological reason to keep the world's largest collection of genealogy records:  They believe in re-baptizing non-Mormons who have died.  This post at The Catholic Gene looks at this issue which can be a bit tricky for a Catholic interested in genealogy.

"It is well-known that the LDS church has some of the greatest genealogical information in the world in both quantity and quality. They obtain those records by going out all over the world and collecting or copying the original records. What is less well known is the doctrinal motivation for collecting ancestral records. Not being a member of the LDS church I’m hesitant to characterize their purposes other than to say that I am informed that it has to do with so-called re-baptism of non-LDS ancestors. That is the least what the Vatican knew in 2008, when the Holy Father instructed Catholic parishes not to cooperate with Mormon records seekers.

This issue had been brewing for quite a while. In 1995, Mormons and Jews reached an agreement that the LDS church would no longer “re-baptize” or “seal” Holocaust survivors that some LDS members had characterized as their ancestors. In 2001, Pope John Paul II approved a statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which stated that baptism in the LDS church cannot be held to be a valid Christian baptism. The statement went on to say that because of differences between the Catholic and Mormon understandings of the Trinity, “one cannot even consider this doctrine to be a heresy arising from a false understanding of Christian doctrine.”

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