Elie Wiesel talks Mormon proxy baptism

Updated

Tonight on the show, we showed you portions of Lawrence O’Donnell’s interview with Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel. Wiesel was responding to the news that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is — despite an agreement they would not — still posthumously baptizing Holocaust victims. You can see the rest of our exclusive interview right here.

The church has called this an error that they regret and stated those responsible have been reprimanded.

Mormons believe in the practice of baptizing the dead to give those not of their faith the chance for “progression” in the afterlife. The church says this practice was restored by their founder and prophet, Joseph Smith in The Doctrine and the Covenants of the Church (a separate text from The Book of Mormon also authored by Smith).

Wiesel called on Mitt Romney to respond given his political prominence and because Romney has been such an active member of the Mormon Church throughout his life.

Wiesel told Lawrence, “Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and I respect all religions, including the Mormon religion. How come that he hasn’t spoken up after all? It’s not, I’m sure he’s not involved in that. But nevertheless, the moment he heard about this, he should have spoken up, because he is running for the presidency of the United States, which means it’s too serious of an issue for him not to speak up.”

This controversy got started this week by a report from The Huffington Post that revealed the Mormon church had posthumously baptized the parents of Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor who had hunted down more than 1,000 Nazi war criminals following World War II, while keeping Wiesel’s name in its registry. Read more about that part of the story here.

Mitt Romney

Elie Wiesel talks Mormon proxy baptism

Updated