Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Correspondence Concerning the Validity of Mormon Baptism and the Application of Privilege of the Faith Cases, 1998. Private.


The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was queried concerning the dissolution of a marriage between a baptized party and a party baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in virtue of the privilege of the faith. What follows are letters from a bishop and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. (Both letters are English originals.)




His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

S. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Piazza del S. Uffizio 11

00193 Rome, Italy

Your Eminence:

In 1989, the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments made this response (English original) to a Diocese in the United States of America concerning the reexamination of Mormon baptism:

We are able to assure Your Excellency that the Catholic Church does not (emphasis original) recognize the baptism of Mormons and we would be grateful if you would instruct anyone who believes the contrary that this has never been the practice of the Catholic Church. As you say, such recognition would be most “problematic”.

Considering the above response of the Sacred Congregation:

Can a marriage entered into by a baptized party and a party baptized “in the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints” be dissolved in virtue of the privilege of the faith?

Devotedly yours in Christ,

Diocesan Bishop

pg. 828

pg. 829
Your Excellency:

Thank you for your letter in which you asked this Congregation whether a marriage entered into by a baptized party and a party baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints could be dissolved in favour of the faith.

This Dicastery wishes to inform Your Excellency that in the audience granted to the Cardinal Prefect, the Holy Father approved the findings of this Congregation’s study of the question, which concluded that there are insufficient grounds to change the current practice of not contesting the validity of Mormon baptism.

It should be carefully noted that this decision does not indicate simple confirmation of the validity of Mormon baptism. Rather it points to the lack of reasons which would warrant a declaration of its invalidity. Therefore, Mormon baptism should continue to be considered valid with respect to the application of the Pauline Privilege and the favor fidei. Moreover, the practice of conditionally baptizing converts from Mormonism to Catholicism is to continue.

With kind regards and prayerful best wishes, I remain

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B.

Secretary




RRAO (1998): 8-9.