Romney Keeps Mum on Mormon Baptism of Jews

Pressure builds to respond to baptism of Nazi-hunter's parents

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 16, 2012 1:12 AM CST | Updated Feb 16, 2012 4:27 AM CST

(Newser) – Mitt Romney is keeping his mouth shut about controversial Mormon baptisms of dead Jews, even though Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel has demanded he speak up. A researcher discovered that the late parents of famed Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal were baptized in Mormon ceremonies in Utah and Arizona last month. "Can you believe it?" a stunned Wiesel asked on MSNBC yesterday. Wiesel was also placed on the Mormon to-be-baptized list. "How come he hasn't spoken up?" asked Wiesel. "The moment he heard about this he should have spoken up because he's running for the presidency of the United States. This is too serious an issue for him not to have spoken up." In an earlier interview with the Huffington Post, Wiesel said Romney should encourage his church to end the practice. "I think it's not only objectionable, it's scandalous," he said.

The Mormons believe people can be baptized after death, and baptized hundreds of thousands of Holocaust victims until they agreed to stop the practice in 1995. They have also baptized Anne Frank, Josef Stalin, and Adolph Hitler, notes MSNBC. Romney is refusing to discuss the issue and his campaign is referring all questions to the Mormon church. A Mormon spokesman apologized for the baptisms of Wiesenthal's parents, and promised Wiesel that he and his family members won't be baptized. How do you stay off the Mormons' to-be-baptized list? You can't really, says Slate. Technically, Mormons are only supposed to baptize ancestors, but obviously that has been loosely interpreted. Click for more.

Mitt Romney, pauses to reflect on an answer during campaign rally in Kentwood, Mich., yesterday.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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