Friday, May 09, 2008
Out of This World Marketing
Okay, as regular readers (all two of you) will know, I tend to be tolerant of and strive to be reasonably respectful to the more rational religious sects and their adherents.
But sometimes ...
According to the Associated Press, the Vatican has ordered Roman Catholic dioceses worldwide to withhold member registries – essentially, the records of baptisms and deaths -- from Mormons. Now here in the U.S., baptismal records are semi-official documents, usually good enough to establish age and birth within the U.S. for purposes of obtaining passports and the like. Such registries are also useful historical records and are essential in tracing genealogies. As such, they have generally been readily available for inspection. So, why the change?
The order, first reported by Catholic News Service, was issued by the Vatican Congregation for Clergy. Officials said the step was taken to prevent members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from baptizing by proxy their Catholic ancestors.
Posthumous baptism is a rite practiced in Mormon church temples for the purpose of offering membership in the church to the deceased. Church members are encouraged to conduct family genealogy research and forward their ancestors' names for proxy baptism.
Can I have a show of hands as to which of them is acting sillier?
BTW, you misspelt "Chez Watt".
There's also an interesting story behind why Joseph Smith started the whole baptising for the dead thing. Maybe I'll post about it tomorrow.
Yeah. Yeah. I have to say the silliness is definitely on the Mormon side. But it's a close-run thing!
Considering the wisdom and insight of your commenters, I think I'm glad I had to make this plea so public. Step riiiight up!