Monday, May 5, 2008

Catholic Geneology Ban

Ok, I wanted to wait until the follow up article or at least a statement from my church, but this irks me enough to say something before I have all the facts. So sue me.

Filing suit now.

This is in response to the information provided in this article:

Catholics told not to give LDS parish data

To sum up, the Catholic church disagrees with our doctrine of proxy ordinances so they are telling their priests not to allow our membership access to their parish records. You'll have to read it to get the long form.

Catholic Genealogy - Mormon's not allowed

Mormons, not allowed...

Ok, I get it, they don't like us. We like them though, but that's beside the point. We do geneology. That's one of the things we're good at and everyone know it. So, of course, I have a few problems with their request:

  1. Since we are so good at geneology everyone comes to us when they want to do it. We have publicly available geneology libraries open every weekday in most cities in the US and most major cities around the globe. I visited one and found that about half the people there were not members of our church. So by cutting us off their cutting everyone off. Including nuns, priests and the Catholic membership. Real smart.
  2. How will they know who is LDS or not? Can you imagine them allowing the public access to the records and not us? That's blatant discrimination. We're used to it and we probably won't do anything about it. Not our style, but what about the rest of the populace? Will they have to sign waivers stating they will not share the info with us and what if they convert? Will they have to give all the info back? Will they seek prosecution of people who do share any information by entering it into our databases? I'd love to see the stink that would cause. Even though we won't fight it, non-mormons will.
  3. Three is a cool number. It's stuck there between the rather even and boring two and four. I like having it there to mix things up and tell us when we have a crowd.
  4. The reason they don't want us to have access to these records is because we believe in vicarious ordinances for the dead. A better explanation would be that we believe that someone, somewhere will grow up without the knowledge of Jesus Christ. We also believe that everyone must receive the physical ordinance of baptism to enter paradise and that those who have passed do not have physical bodies. So those of us with physical bodies can stand in for them for baptism much in the same way that Christ stood in for our sinful penance. Those in the spirit world can then choose to accept this proxy baptism or not, it is ultimately up to them. So even though the Catholics believe in proxy they do not believe in our proxy and don't want us doing it. Hence the info access ban.
  5. This is an amendment to #4. If they don't believe that what we're doing has an effect on anything why do they care? This ranks right up with accepting evolution and fixing the limbo mistake as one of the more contradictory statements they have made recently. Yay ignorance.

What now?

The LDS Church will keep on doing what they do best: work. We will find other indexes to file, records to publish and plod on until the Catholic records are made available.

Be reasonable.

Update 2013

No new statements, either from the LDS or the Catholic churches have established a change in this ban. I did find an article where they talk about parish records somehow making their way into I guess it's a don't ask don't tell situation where as long as neither side acknowledges it, no action needs to be taken. Yay?