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boblloyd91

Papal opinions of Mormonism?

74 posts in this topic

So I was wondering if any popes have ever made statements about Mormonism?

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:PHeard they thought the LDS church was the church of the devil...(not really}!!

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Other than the often discussed (and surprising) rejection of LDS baptisms by Pope John Paul II, I am not aware of any recognition of Mormonism by the popes. I too, would be interested, if anyone knows anything further.

Edited by 3DOP
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I would be interested, too. A quick google search only yielded the declaration that Mormon baptisms are invalid and that parishes should not give records to Mormon genealogical societies.

9 minutes ago, 3DOP said:

(and surprising) rejection of LDS baptisms

Out of curiosity, what is surprising about it to you? The reasoning made sense to me: the form doesn't work because of the LDS theology of God.

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1 hour ago, boblloyd91 said:

So I was wondering if any popes have ever made statements about Mormonism?

Recent Popes have very likely made some public comments during the visits to the Vatican by LDS general authorities, and those are likely carried in the press -- probably available on the internet.  The same would be true of public encounters during conferences on the family in Philadelphia, and perhaps elsewhere.  I would expect them to be cordial and pro-forma recognitions.

However, at the end of World war II, the powerful Bavarian Catholic Josef Müller (who had been a prisoner in Flossenburg, Buchenwald, and Dachau concentration camps, due to his attempt to overthrow Hitler) and his associates spent a great deal of time with the LDS military officer, Dale Clark, planning for the new, democratic form of government in Germany.  Lt Clark was in charge of the entire matter, and sought to put the Bavarian Catholic political party, the Christlich-Sozial Union (CSU), in control of that new Germany.  In this he fully succeeded, but only after Dr. Müller obtained for Clark an audience with Pope Pius XII.  Only then did the Bavarian Catholics fall into line with Clark's conception of the new Germany.  Clark was a Harvard graduate, and former LDS missionary in prewar Germany.  He spoke fluent German.  The Vatican surely has records of that entire matter.

Müller, Josef, Bis zur letzten Konsequenz: Ein Leben für Frieden und Freiheit (Munich: Suddeutscher Verlag, 1967/1975/1983).

Clark, Dale, “Conflicts Over Planning at Staff Headquarters,” in Carl J. Friedrich and Associates, eds., American Experiences in Military Government (N.Y.: Rinehart & Co., 1948).

MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation (N.Y.: Basic Books, 2007), 243,

Quote

Müller’s ideas echoed those of Jakob Kaiser in Berlin: Germany needed to learn from the primitive Christians.  If their teaching was followed there would be no need for communism or socialism.  It was an idea he had developed in the Hotel Paradiso in Capri, in conversation with the American naval officer and Mormon, Dale Clark.  These sun-baked discussions sired the Christlich-Sozial Union or CSU.

 

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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2 hours ago, 3DOP said:

Other than the often discussed (and surprising) rejection of LDS baptisms by Pope John Paul II, I am not aware of any recognition of Mormonism by the popes. I too, would be interested, if anyone knows anything further.

I remember hearing about this but thought it was Pope Benedict. That's interesting.

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Recent Popes have very likely made some public comments during the visits to the Vatican by LDS general authorities, and those are likely carried in the press -- probably available on the internet.  The same would be true of public encounters during conferences on the family in Philadelphia, and perhaps elsewhere.  I would expect them to be cordial and pro-forma recognitions.

However, at the end of World war II, the powerful Bavarian Catholic Josef Müller (who had been a prisoner in Flossenburg, Buchenwald, and Dachau concentration camps, due to his attempt to overthrow Hitler) and his associates spent a great deal of time with the LDS military officer, Dale Clark, planning for the new, democratic form of government in Germany.  Lt Clark was in charge of the entire matter, and sought to put the Bavarian Catholic political party, the Christlich-Sozial Union (CSU), in control of that new Germany.  In this he fully succeeded, but only after Dr. Müller obtained for Clark an audience with Pope Pius XII.  Only then did the Bavarian Catholics fall into line with Clark's conception of the new Germany.  Clark was a Harvard graduate, and former LDS missionary in prewar Germany.  He spoke fluent German.  The Vatican surely has records of that entire matter.

Müller, Josef, Bis zur letzten Konsequenz: Ein Leben für Frieden und Freiheit (Munich: Suddeutscher Verlag, 1967/1975/1983).

Clark, Dale, “Conflicts Over Planning at Staff Headquarters,” in Carl J. Friedrich and Associates, eds., American Experiences in Military Government (N.Y.: Rinehart & Co., 1948).

MacDonogh, Giles, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation (N.Y.: Basic Books, 2007), 243,

 

Fascinating thanks!

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2 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

I would be interested, too. A quick google search only yielded the declaration that Mormon baptisms are invalid and that parishes should not give records to Mormon genealogical societies.

Out of curiosity, what is surprising about it to you? The reasoning made sense to me: the form doesn't work because of the LDS theology of God.

Does the Catholic church recognize many other denomination's baptisms?  This is an honest question, because I really don't know.

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3 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

I would be interested, too. A quick google search only yielded the declaration that Mormon baptisms are invalid and that parishes should not give records to Mormon genealogical societies.

Out of curiosity, what is surprising about it to you? The reasoning made sense to me: the form doesn't work because of the LDS theology of God.

What surprises me is that The Catholic Church has long been aware of the LDS theology of God, namely the Godhead, but only recently rejected Mormon baptism because of their "erroneous" view of God. Also, sisn't Arius have a wrong theology of God? I do not think neither he nor and Arians were forbidden to be baptized.

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1 hour ago, sunstoned said:

Does the Catholic church recognize many other denomination's baptisms?  This is an honest question, because I really don't know.

"But what do we do with someone from a non-Catholic Christian faith who wants to become a Catholic?  Normally he can provide a baptismal certificate from his own church—but is it enough?

As a general rule, it is. The Catholic Church has long taught that the one baptizing needn’t profess the Catholic faith in order to baptize validly.  It is enough that he (or she) intends to do what Christ commanded—namely, to free the person from original sin and incorporate him into the Church—and uses a valid form for the administration of the sacrament. In fact, the baptizer doesn’t even need to be a Christian. Imagine, for example, a woman giving birth in a hospital to a sick baby who is in danger of death. If she were to request a Jewish nurse to baptize the baby, that nurse would validly do so, so long as she used the correct formula and intended to do what the Church requires (even if she weren’t too sure exactly what that was!).

For this reason, the Church acknowledges that baptisms performed by Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians, and the bulk of the other mainstream protestants are valid. It is true that there are some religious communities, like the Mormons (discussed in “Marriage Between a Catholic and a Non-Catholic”), whose baptism the Catholic Church does not accept as valid, because it has determined that for theological reasons there is a significant defect in the intention of the minister. We have also seen, in “Inclusive Language and Baptismal Validity,” that if a non-Catholic religious community is using a theologically defective formula during the baptismal ceremony, the Catholic Church rejects it as invalid. But otherwise, unless there is some specific reason to question the validity of the baptism in a particular case, the Catholic Church regards most protestant baptisms as valid.

Consequently, when a protestant wishes to become a Catholic, the pastor who will receive the person into the Church looks into the circumstances of that person’s baptism, and decides whether there are any grounds to doubt its validity. If not, canon 869.2 states clearly that the person is not to be baptized again."

http://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2010/03/11/do-converts-have-to-be-rebaptized/

 

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About 10 years ago there was a BYU studies article presented a Catholic Cardinal's words concerning Mormonism. 

I remember his opinion being that Mormonism was ridiculous, but was the logical conclusion of the Protestant revolt (especially in its American manifestation).

I think this might have been presented to a Pope, so that gets somewhat towards what you asked about.

Hope link works:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiMgNHPwo_VAhWDFj4KHZVvB0cQFggwMAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fbyustudies.byu.edu%2Ffile%2F5158%2Fdownload%3Ftoken%3DBtqqsv-V&usg=AFQjCNHX7b8SNL14S8cmRMGfn3J4FOpKjA

 

Or search for: 

A Jesuit Interpretation of Mid-Nineteenth-Century America “Mormonism in Connection with Modern Protestantism”

 

Charity, TOm

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8 hours ago, Darren10 said:

What surprises me is that The Catholic Church has long been aware of the LDS theology of God, namely the Godhead, but only recently rejected Mormon baptism because of their "erroneous" view of God.

The pronouncement came because of specific questions asked by American bishops. So, yes, while the awareness had been there for a long time, it wasn't until it became an issue that needed answering that the decision was made.

 

8 hours ago, Darren10 said:

Also, sisn't Arius have a wrong theology of God? I do not think neither he nor and Arians were forbidden to be baptized.

While I don't have a specific answer for this, I would guess that his errors were not large enough to make the form invalid. The rule is that there is a presumption of validity unless the Church has ruled otherwise. So, prior to the the pronouncement that LDS baptisms are invalid, the presumption would have been that they are. However, from what I've read (admittedly limited), most priests and bishops would baptism converts from the LDS church anyways, just to be on the safe side :)

 

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9 hours ago, sunstoned said:

Does the Catholic church recognize many other denomination's baptisms?  This is an honest question, because I really don't know.

A baptism is considered valid if it has proper matter, form, and intention. This is true for all sacraments (ordinances) in the Catholic Church.

Matter = water

Form =  "I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."

Intention = to remove original sin and to make one a member of the Body of Christ, i.e. a Christian.

Priesthood authority is not strictly necessary for a baptism to be valid, thus protestants are not re-baptized because their baptisms meet the matter, form, and intention. A protestant converting to Catholicism would only be confirmed, not baptized.

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10 hours ago, Derl Sanderson said:

I find it strange that there would be Mormon apologetics arguing that the Catholic Church's rules concerning baptism are wrong, since Mormons believe that a Catholic baptism is invalid and the Catholic Church not true. I doubt you will find Catholic apologetics arguing that a convert from Catholicism to Mormonism doesn't need to be baptized because Catholic baptisms are valid. Instead, you will get argument as to why the Mormon church is wrong and why Catholics shouldn't convert.

What is the purpose of this article...?

From the article:

Quote

Thus the contention that somehow members of the Church of Jesus Christ understand baptism as having some purpose foreign to Catholicism seems inaccurate. A false dichotomy has been drawn by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the u.s. Confer- ence of Catholic Bishops. 

Isn't the Catholic Church in a better position to determine what is foreign to Catholicism than a Mormon apologist? The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the body who determines and applies questions of doctrine, dogma, and practice. It is headed by Cardinals appointed by the Pope. In the case of the LDS baptism question, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was the head of the CDF. He later went on to become Pope Benedict XVI.

An equivalent situation of this article would be a Catholic apologist arguing that the Quorum of the 12 Apostles made a pronouncement about Mormon doctrine that is incorrect. Wouldn't you LDS folk think that was strange and rather presumptuous?

Edited by MiserereNobis
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9 hours ago, TOmNossor said:

I remember his opinion being that Mormonism was ridiculous, but was the logical conclusion of the Protestant revolt (especially in its American manifestation).

Thanks for the link. I put the article on my reading list (and the link does work). I initially agree with this statement that Mormonism is the logical conclusion, as much as that must make evangelicals cringe ;)

 

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Of course the Catholics get to decide what they believe. What they don't get to decide is what I believe. It is never a good idea to tell others what  they believe.

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4 minutes ago, thesometimesaint said:

Of course the Catholics get to decide what they believe. What they don't get to decide is what I believe. It is never a good idea to tell others what  they believe.

How do you think Catholics are deciding what you believe?

Edited by MiserereNobis
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14 minutes ago, thesometimesaint said:

By claiming we are not Christians.

Well, you call us apostates and say our creeds are an abomination. I suppose all is fair in love and war :P

Seriously, though, that's not the issue I raised. The issue is how it is strange that a Mormon apologist would argue that the Catholic body tasked with determining Catholic doctrine is wrong in their conclusion about Catholic doctrine. It is fully within the right of the Catholic Church to determine if a baptism is a valid Catholic baptism, and it is fully within the rights of the Catholic Church to declare that a non-Trinitarian view of God, along with a denial of original sin (all clearly pronounced LDS doctrines) make an LDS baptism not a valid Catholic baptism.

I'm not sure why this is controversial with you...?

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2 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

The pronouncement came because of specific questions asked by American bishops. So, yes, while the awareness had been there for a long time, it wasn't until it became an issue that needed answering that the decision was made.

There's been plenty of LDS to Catholic conversions in the 170 years before then which were... not an issue?  The timing of such a decision does strange seem odd to me as well.

2 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

A baptism is considered valid if it has proper matter, form, and intention. This is true for all sacraments (ordinances) in the Catholic Church.

Matter = water

Form =  "I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."

Intention = to remove original sin and to make one a member of the Body of Christ, i.e. a Christian.

Priesthood authority is not strictly necessary for a baptism to be valid, thus protestants are not re-baptized because their baptisms meet the matter, form, and intention. A protestant converting to Catholicism would only be confirmed, not baptized.

Matter and form LDS fulfill.  Intention to remove Original Sin doesn't really apply, but the same can be said for many Protestant denominations as well. 

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Apostates are still Christians.

As I said before Catholics are within their rights to determine what they believe. I have no argument with that. What I object to is them telling me what I believe. To give an example. I was born in the US, served in its military, voted in every election, paid my taxes when due. It is utter nonsense to claim I'm not an American if I disagree with some action it takes.

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2 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

I find it strange that there would be Mormon apologetics arguing that the Catholic Church's rules concerning baptism are wrong, since Mormons believe that a Catholic baptism is invalid and the Catholic Church not true.

This comparison is a bit of apples and oranges.  

From the Catholic perspective: Catholics don't require valid priesthood in order for a baptism to be valid.  So that's not an issue with Catholics accepting Mormon (or anyone else's) baptisms. 

From the Mormon perspective: valid priesthood is essential.  Hence all non-LDS baptism are not valid priesthood ordinances.  

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3 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

A baptism is considered valid if it has proper matter, form, and intention. This is true for all sacraments (ordinances) in the Catholic Church.

Matter = water

Form =  "I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."

Intention = to remove original sin and to make one a member of the Body of Christ, i.e. a Christian.

Priesthood authority is not strictly necessary for a baptism to be valid, thus protestants are not re-baptized because their baptisms meet the matter, form, and intention. A protestant converting to Catholicism would only be confirmed, not baptized.

I believe the red words may be the issue. LDS reject the notion of original sin, while most Protestants do not. We believe it was a medieval man-made theology. In other words we do not believe a dying baby is headed for hell. We believe they are innocent of sin. 

Personally, at least, I do not believe that baptism is for the purpose of cleansing one from sin either. It represents a rebirth in Christ, but also rebirth from the world, and a rising or resurrection out of it - yes, clean from sin. One is not cleansed from sin by baptism, but by repentance and the remission of sin. I am certainly not saying baptism is not important, but I just interpret its purpose a little differently, as I believe the Church does as well. 

I am not offended by the Catholic Church's non-acceptance of LDS baptism. I view that as actually a positive sign of our true covenant with Yeshua. The LDS Church does not accept Catholic baptism either, so we should not be offended if they do not accept ours.

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I'm fine with them not accepting our baptism. It is the claim we are not Christian that is problematic.

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