Thursday, August 23, 2007

RCC Decision Not to Recognize LDS Baptism

In June of 2001 the Catholic Church issued an official statement declaring its decision not to recognise the validity of the baptisms performed by the LDS Church. The complete text of this document, which can be seen on the Vatican website, and is as follows:

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

RESPONSE TO A ‘DUBIUM’

on the validity of baptism conferred by

«The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints»,

called «Mormons»

Question: Wheter the baptism conferred by the community «The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints», called «Mormons» in the vernacular, is valid.

Response: Negative.

The Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, in the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved the present Response, decided in the Sessione Ordinaria of this Congregation, and ordered it published.

From the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 5 June 2001.

+ Joseph Cardinal RATZINGER

Prefect

+ Tarcisio BERTONE, S.D.B.

Archbishop emeritus of Vercelli

Secretary

This raises the obvious question of why the Catholic Church, which is a very conservative institution in maintaining its traditions and practices, has decided to go against its long held practice of recognizing the baptisms performed by other churches; and why it has made that decision, with regard to the LDS Church, now?

That decision is odd, because the Catholic Church has traditionally accepted baptisms performed by other churches, such as radical Protestant churches that have broken away from it, and even called it abusive names such as “Whore of Babylon,” and called the Pope the “Antichrist”! The LDS Church treats the Catholic Church with far greater respect than the Protestant Churches have done, or still do.

Traditionally and historically, in fact, the Catholic Church has accepted baptism performed by anyone in an emergency. A Jewish Rabbi, a Moslem cleric, an atheist can perform a valid Catholic baptism in an emergency. If someone is at the point of death, and he has no recourse to a Catholic Priest, he can ask anyone at hand to perform the rite of baptism for him, and the Catholic Church accepts that as a valid baptism. So it is indeed odd that they should single out the LDS Church for an exception to this rule, which after all is a Christ-centered Church, and uses the Trinitarian formula in its baptisms.

Interestingly, the Catholic Church in its official statement published on the Vatican website mentioned above, does not attempt to give a reason, or a theological explanation for its decision; so that the Catholic apologists have been left to their own devices to come up with an explanation for it; and they have latched on to theological differences concerning the Godhead or the Trinity. But that only raises more awkward questions for the Catholic Church, because differences in doctrine have never been considered a justification for not acknowledging the validity of another church’s baptism. In an interesting article by Fr Luis Ladaria, S.J., entitled: “The Question Of The Validity Of Baptism Conferred In The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints,” he makes it clear that doctrinal differences have never been a justification for the Catholic Church to alter its policy of recognizing baptisms performed by other churches. Here is an extract from that article:

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has given a negative response to a “Dubium” regarding the validity of Baptism conferred in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormons. Given that this decision changes the past practice of not questioning the validity of such Baptism, it seems appropriate to explain the reasons that have led to this decision and to the resulting change of practice.

This explanation becomes even more necessary if one considers that errors of a doctrinal nature have never been considered sufficient to question the validity of the sacrament of Baptism. In fact, already in the middle of the third century Pope Stephen I, opposing the decisions of an African synod in 256 A.D., reaffirmed that the ancient practice of the imposition of hands as a sign of repentance should be maintained, but not the rebaptism of a heretic who enters the Catholic Church. In this way, the name of Christ attains great honour for faith and sanctification because whoever is baptized in the name of Christ, wherever that has taken place, has received the grace of Christ (cf. Denzinger-H√ľngermann [DH] 110–111). The same principle was upheld by the Synod of Arles in 314 (cf. DH 123). Well known also is the struggle of St Augustine against the Donatists. The Bishop of Hippo affirms that the validity of the sacrament depends neither on the personal sanctity of the minister nor on his belonging to the Church.

Even non-Catholics can validly administer Baptism. In every case, however, it is the Baptism of the Catholic Church, which does not belong to those who separate themselves from her but to the Church from which they have separated themselves (cf. Augustine, On Baptism 1, 12, 9). This validity is possible because Christ is the true minister of the sacrament: Christ is the one who truly baptizes, whether it is Peter or Paul or Judas who baptizes (cf. Augustine, Treatise on the Gospel of John VI, 1,7; cf. CCC n. 1127). The Council of Trent, confirming this tradition, defined that Baptism administered by heretics in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, with the intention of doing what the Catholic Church does is true Baptism (cf. DH 1617).

The most recent documents of the Catholic Church maintain the same teaching. The Code of Canon Law prescribes that those who have been baptized in non-Catholic ecclesial communities (as long as there is no doubt regarding the matter or the form or the intention of the minister or of the person being baptized) should not be baptized again (cf. Code of Canon Law, can. 869 §2), Intrinsically connected to this problem is that of who can be the minister of Baptism in the Catholic Church. According to the Code, in cases of necessity anyone can baptize, provided the intention is correct (cf. can. 861 §2). The Code of Canon Law confirms the fundamental elements of Tridentine teaching and makes more explicit what is the required correct intention: “The intention required is to will to do what the Church does when she baptizes. The Church finds the reason for this possibility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation” (CCC, n. 1256. Evidently, the necessity of Baptism spoken of here is not to be understood in an absolute sense; cf. ibid., nn. 1257–1261). Precisely because of the necessity of Baptism for salvation the Catholic Church has had the tendency of broadly recognizing this right intention in the conferring of this sacrament, even in the case of a false understanding of TRINITARIAN FAITH, as for example in the case of the ARIANS. [Emphasis added.]

Curiously, in this same article, Fr Ladaria then proceeds to justify the decision of the Catholic Church precisely on the basis of the theological differences between the two religions, which negates everything he has just said above! Here is a quote:

We have seen that in the texts of the Magisterium on Baptism there is a reference to the invocation of the Trinity (to the sources already mentioned, the Fourth Lateran Council could be added here [DH 8021). The formula used by the Mormons might seem at first sight to be a Trinitarian formula. The text states: “Being commissioned by Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (cf. D&C 20:73). The similarities with the formula used by the Catholic Church are at first sight obvious, but in reality they are only apparent. There is not in fact a fundamental doctrinal agreement. [Emphasis added.]

This negates what he has said before. Either doctrinal differences are significant or they are not. At first he says that they are not, and then he says that they are!

Another (former) Catholic priest by the name of Jordan Vajda*, who writes more sympathetically of the LDS Church, in the introduction to his masters’ thesis: Partakers of the Divine Nature: A Comparative Analysis of the Patristic and Mormon Doctrines of Divinization, (pp. xiii–xv), has come up with a different explanation for the Catholic Church’s decision, as follows:

My intuition, however, which I hope to more fully develop into an article in the near future, tells me that the decision of the Catholic Church to not recognize the validity of LDS baptism actually parallels something that the Latter-day Saints have understood since their beginning in 1830. To be specific: in April 1830, within days of the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Prophet Joseph Smith was taught by means of divine revelation that the baptismal ordinances performed by all other Christians—the current-day adherents of that era or dispensation of salvation history, which was established by Christ during his earthly ministry (and which, from an LDS perspective, has gone into apostasy)—are essentially different and invalid as compared to those performed in the LDS Church, which has ushered in the new “dispensation of the fulness of times” (Doctrine and Covenants 128:18). This divine instruction would subsequently appear in the first authorized collection of the Prophet Joseph’s revelations, The Book of Commandments (1833), and can now be found as section 22 of the Doctrine and Covenants, one of the four volumes of LDS scripture (along with the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and the Pearl of Great Price).

The Catholic Church, albeit a bit inarticulately, has now recognized that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints represents not just another development of Protestantism, but is truly a “new religious tradition” (as also noted by Professor Jan Shipps in her landmark study Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition). Thus, the Catholic Church has recognized that the baptism of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the baptism of a different gospel dispensation; and if a person wants to “cross-over” from one gospel dispensation to another, the baptism of the other dispensation will not and cannot be regarded as valid. [Emphasis added.]

This puts a much braver face on it for the Catholic Church, and is certainly the most intelligent and face-saving explanation that a Catholic could give.

Another consideration is, Why did the Catholic Church take so long to come to that momentous decision? This decision is relatively recent. The LDS Church has been around for 180 years. What took them so long to come to that great realization?

But since “guesswork” is now the order of the day; and the Catholic Church, which made that decision in the first place, did not venture to give us an official explanation for its decision; I think that my guesswork is as good a anybody else’s! And I don’t think that either explanation is correct. I believe that there were several factors involved in that decision, which I will try to enumerate as follows:

The main reason for making that decision I believe was in retaliation to the LDS policy of not recognizing the validity their baptism! Long before the Catholic Church decided not to recognize LDS baptism, the LDS Church did not acknowledge Catholic baptism! In fact, the LDS Church has never recognized the validity of baptisms performed by any church other than its own. That is because LDS doctrine teaches that baptism is a sacrament that needs to be performed by proper priesthood authority, and traditional Christianity is apostate and no longer possesses the necessary priesthood authority to perform a valid baptism (or any other sacrament, for that matter). If the Catholic Church was to recognize LDS baptisms, that would amount to a tacit acknowledgement of the authority under which it is performed; which would in turn amount to negating their own! The theological basis of LDS baptism would necessitate that. It is either Catholic baptism or the LDS one. It can’t be both. The Catholic Church was faced with the dilemma of either acknowledging the authority of LDS Baptism, and thereby denying its own; or else to reject the authenticity of LDS baptism in order retain its own. It is either one or the other. If they acknowledge that the LDS Church has the authority, then that means that they don’t!

But that decision does not solve the Catholic Church’s problem. It creates more problems for them than it solves. The Catholic Church is now caught in a quandary of its own making. The reason is that their position is untenable and inconsistent. It is both theologically and historically inconsistent. It is theologically inconsistent because the necessity for priesthood or divine authority has never been a requirement for Catholic baptism; so the Catholic Church cannot now turn around and say to the LDS Church: “We do not recognize your baptism because we think that we have the proper authority to baptize and you don’t!” They have never acknowledged the necessity of that before; therefore they cannot do so now. If they were to make that acknowledgement now, that would mean that all the baptisms that they had performed in the past were invalid!

Their position is also historically inconsistent, because the Catholic Church had traditionally accepted baptism from anyone including a non-Catholic or an unbeliever. So there is no valid reason why they should not accept it from the LDS Church, which is a much more viable institution than many of the radical Protestant churches that have broken away from them; and also uses the correct form and substance (i.e. the Trinitarian formula, and immersion in water). If the Catholic Church had not made that decision, nobody would have said anything or noticed. Things would have continued as they had done before. But now that they have made that decision, they have to give a justifiable explanation for it, and they don’t have one!

The LDS position, on the other hand, has been extremely consistent. From the day that the LDS Church was organized, it has never recognized the baptism of any church, not just of the Catholic Church. The LDS Church did not make that decision as a snub to the Catholic Church (or any other church). It was done in keeping with a commandment given to the Church in a revelation received in April 1830—which is only a few days after the Church was organized. It constitutes section 22 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the complete text of which is given below (including the introductory note printed in italics):

D&C 22:

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Manchester, New York, April 1830. HC 1:79–80. This revelation was given to the Church in consequence of some who had previously been baptized desiring to unite with the Church without rebaptism.

1 Behold, I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing; and this is a new and an everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning.

2 Wherefore, although a man should be baptized an hundred times it availeth him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works.

3 For it is because of your dead works that I have caused this last covenant and this church to be built up unto me, even as in days of old.

4 Wherefore, enter ye in at the gate, as I have commanded, and seek not to counsel your God. Amen.

This has been the position of the LDS Church since its inception. Our policies and practices are clear and transparent. The Church hasn’t “changed” its position one little bit. But the Catholic Church is all over the place! It is changing its policies and practices without knowing why it is doing it (or at least telling anybody!) or where they want to go! One doesn’t need to be a genius to figure out who comes out better off in this exchange.

However, I believe that there is still more to this decision than what meets the eye. The curious thing is that previous to this decision being made, representation was made to the “Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith” in October 25, 1991, by a Rev. A.J.V. Adjutant Judicial Vicar, of a Mid-Western US diocese for the RCC, to not recognize the validity LDS baptism, to which the said “Congregation” at that time gave a negative response. The text of this exchange apparently comes from pages 17–20 of ROMAN REPLIES AND CLSA ADVISORY OPINIONS 1992 (Canon Law Society of America: 1992), edited by Kevin W. Vann, J.C.D. and Lynn Jarrell, O.S.U., J.C.D. and published on the Internet. The letter is addressed to “Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11 00193 Rome, Italy” and begins with the following words:

Your Eminence:

I am writing regarding the question of the validity of the sacrament of baptism as practiced by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons). . . .

The rest of the letter is a long rant against the supposed doctrinal and procedural falsities of the LDS Church (many of which is in fact incorrect), and then proposes that the validity of the baptism of the LDS Church not be recognized. To this the “Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith” gave the following reply in April of 1992, addressed to the Bishop of the Diocese from where the original letter was sent:

March 31 1992

Prot. No. 9/90

Your Excellency:

Reverend A.J.V., the adjutant judicial vicar of your diocese had occasion to write to this Congregation last October 25th, raising certain questions regarding the validity of Mormon baptism. We would be grateful if you would pass on to Father A.J.V. the following information, conveying our regrets for the delay in response. While it would be inopportune here to go into all the counter-positions in the several arguments Father A.J.V. brings to bear against the validity of Mormon baptism, suffice it to say that all of the points he raised in his letter were taken into consideration in a recent in-depth examination undertaken by this dicastery, the outcome of which we are pleased to share with you.

On February 15, 1991, in an audience granted to the Cardinal Prefect, the Holy Father approved the conclusion of this Congregation’s study that “there are insufficient grounds to change the current practice not to contest the validity of Mormon baptism.” It might be noted that this decision does not indicate simple confirmation of the validity of Mormon baptism. Rather, it points to the lack of reasons necessary to warrant an absolute decision of its invalidity, where the proper form and matter have been used. It should be noted that it can occasionally in fact occur that a particular Mormon baptism may be certainly invalid because of a lack of proper form, for example, where two ministers have divided the words of the Trinitarian formula between them. For this reason each individual case must be examined to ascertain whether the proper form has been observed. This having been said, however, the practice followed in some regions of conditionally baptizing converts from Mormonism to Catholicism may continue.

I hope this information proves useful. Please thank Father A.J.V. for us for bringing his concerns on this topic to the attention of this Dicastery. Happy to have the opportunity to convey cordial regards, I remain,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+ A. Bovone Secretary [Emphasis added]

So something happened between March 1992 and June 2001 that caused the Catholic Church to change its mind! What could that be? Well, since the RCC has decided to play its cards close to its chest, and chosen not to tell us anything apart from making a declaration, we have to do some detective work to figure that out for ourselves, which is not too hard to do. I think the following factors are significant in this case.

Firstly, that decision was made at the instigation of the Catholic Church in the United States, where churches tend to be more radical and hard line than elsewhere:

“The ruling, made on June 5 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had been in response to a question on the validity of LDS baptisms posed by the Bishops’ Conference of the United States.” [Emphasis added.] Deseret News, July 18, 2001.

Secondly, this decision came soon after the three largest Protestant denominations in the United States (Southern Baptist Convention, United Methodist Church, and Presbyterian) had made the same decision. (Salt Lake Tribune, May 11, 2000.) The United Methodist Church had made that decision a year earlier.

It is now easier to put all the pieces of the puzzle together, and see where the whole thing came from. The prime mover behind this decision was the Catholic Churches in the United States, where the Protestant Churches had already made the same decision, who then put pressure on the Catholics in the US to do the same thing. The Protestant churches probably thought that their decision wouldn’t be very effective unless the Catholic Church followed suit—who in turn relented to do as they were asked! But in so doing, the Catholic Church has only harmed itself, not the LDS Church. With that decision the RCC has helped its enemies, not its friends. The Protestant and Evangelical churches, at whose behest the RCC has almost certainly done this, are its worst enemies, and seek its utter destruction. The Catholic Church has no greater friend in the world than the LDS Church. The LDS Church is not an enemy of the Catholic Church; whereas the Protestant Churches are, and have always been.

My guess is that the decision was pushed through with the help of Cardinal Ratzinger. The Vatican is usually pretty cautious and sensible (and very conservative) about making such decisions. They tend not to make decisions that go against their long held traditions and practices. Ratzinger, unlike JP2, has proved himself to be rather gaff prone since he became Pope. He has undone much of the good work that JP2 did to build bridges with other faiths, especially Islam. JP2 was one of the Catholic Church’s greatest Popes. Ratzinger’s performance has been pretty mediocre by comparison.

But the ultimate question is, does anybody care? The LDS Church certainly doesn’t, and I doubt if anybody else does. At the time that the RCC announced its decision, the LDS Church’s official spokesman, speaking on behalf the Church, stated that the LDS Church was “neither concerned nor offended that the Catholic Church has determined not to recognize Latter-day Saint baptisms”. Here are a couple of news clips from that time:

“We are neither concerned nor offended that the Catholic Church has determined not to recognize Latter-day Saint baptisms,” church spokesman Michael Otterson said Thursday. He noted that converts to the Mormon faith must be rebaptized. [Emphasis added.] Los Angeles Times, July 20, 2001.

“We are neither concerned nor offended that the Catholic Church has determined not to recognize Latter-day Saint baptisms,” Dale Bills, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said. “As a fundamental tenet of our faith, we believe that all people have a God-given right to worship how, where or what they may.” [Emphasis added.] Deseret News, July 18, 2001.

I personally see in this a pretty damning and devastating response.

______________________

* Father Jordan Vajda, a Dominican Catholic Priest at the time, completed his master’s thesis, “‘Partakers of the Divine Nature’: A Comparative Analysis of Patristic and Mormon Doctrines of Divinization,” in 1998 at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. This work was later republished under the same title as Occasional Paper No. 3 by the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies FARMS (Provo, Utah, 2002). The complete work can be read from this site. (Click on the appropriate heading to expand). In 2003 Father Vajda was encouraged to speak to LDS missionaries, and was later baptized a member of the LDS Church. I was not able to determine the date of his baptism. It was either at the end of 2003 or in 2004.

7 comments:

SummerDaze said...

Well, at last I have finally found something about baptism. I am new to computers and the internet. I was baptized 08-12-07. Now I'm not sure if it would be recognized by the Catholic church and I am comfused. I am apparently not as schooled as I first thought. I just wanted to be baptized before I was put to sleep for surgery. I plan to marry a Catholic man someday and I was looking for a religion of my own. My relationship with God is strong. I had planned on bringing this man back to practicing his religion because he has such strong moral values and that is what I was looking for in a man. Now, I'm not sure if my baptism would be valid for the Catholic church. I'm not really sure on how to use the CFA. Anyway isn't baptism between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and the person being baptized? It seems from reading the stuff posted, that I could never have enough time to become educated on the Catholic religion. Maybe I just need to buy some books. Thank you for this article even if it made me feel very religious illiterate. May God bless you.

Anonymous said...

As a recent convert from LDS to Catholocism I think it's VERY obvious why the Catholic Church does not recognize LDS baptism: LDS does not believe in the "formula" in the same way that EVERY Christian faith does (note that I did not say "other" because LDS is so far from Christian, it's hard to know where to begin). All Christian faiths believe in the Holy Trinity as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit one God. Not THREE SEPARATE PERSONAGES. How could a Christian faith validate anything that does not agree with this?!?
Meanwhile, I've found your posts on the Catholic Answers website to be, at best, mildly humorous. It appears that most of the time you do not know your own faith, as you have answered several questions incorrectly. Moreover you, along with SO many Mormons, try to "convert" or explain things by using a book that no other religion believes in. If the BOM is true then you should find justification in the Bible; you cannot so you point to verses in the BOM. I have read the BOM more than one time as with the Pearl of Great Price and the D&C; the only thing I can get from it is that it's a great piece of fiction that, using themes and visualizations from the Bible, is able to make a person feel good. But then, isn't that the point of good fiction?

tundramom said...

well zerinus, I finally got around to checking out your blog page.

I agree with anonymous. It's obvious why the Catholic church doesn't recognize baptisms done by your church.

As you may know, I am a former Mormon who came Home to the Catholic Church 8 years ago.

All the long-winded things you may write will not change that your baptisms differ vastly from ours.

I don't see the Catholic church changing her stance. What I see is that she was making clear what most of us already knew. Mormonism just isn't valid and neither are it's baptisms.

Loretta said...

The purpose of Christian baptism is to do what Christ did--to infuse the divine life of grace (eradicating original sin and remitting all actual sin) and to incorporate the individual into the mystical body of Christ by an outward and visible sign.

The purpose of LDS baptism is to do what Joseph Smith said Adam and others did--to enter into personal covenants and to incorporate the individual into the hermetic LDS milieu.

Them's two different purposes.

The Aryans made many theological and doctrinal errors, but the nature of the sacraments as instituted by Christ was not among them.

LDS do not acknowledge the transmission of original sin (see Articles of Faith), favoring instead the Fortunate Fall. LDS do not generally appreciate the depth and breadth of the change in world history effected by the Incarnation--Jesus came, it is said, in the "meridian" of time, and only with the restoration was the "fullness" of time inaugurated. LDS do not accept that the divine life is in any way separate or distinct from human life (all matter is spirit, all spirit is matter; as God once was, man is, as God is now, man may become; the Gods did not create ex nihilo, they organized; and so on).

Rome moves slowly. A "new world religion" which finally reached the ten million plus mark and is now creating waves in regions outside the United States has put Mormonism on the scope after 170+ years. With a billion living souls and counting, the Roman Catholic Church is far from being overwhelmed, but inter-faith marriage is a pastoral problem which is never to be ignored.

Baptism is first among the sacraments ("sacred means") of the Church for a reason. It must necessarily precede all other sacraments, including that of Matrimony. In the absence of the sacrament of Baptism, the sacrament of Matrimony cannot exist. A valid, consummated sacramental union of Matrimony cannot be annulled and is ended only by the death of one of the parties. A marriage in which one or both parties is not a baptized Christian falls under a different set of rules.

What is not evident from the Vatican's 2001 Dubium (in canon law, this means "doubt") is that former LDS entering the Roman Catholic Church have always been baptized conditionally ("If you are not already baptized, I baptize you..."), administered the Sacrament of Penance, and received on profession of faith--three phases to Christian initiation. When I was received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1972 from a Congregationalist background, I was also baptized conditionally (my christening could not be proved), administered the Sacrament of Penance, and received on profession of faith. Now Baptism can be and is administered to former LDS absolutely.

Among others for whom Baptism is administered absolutely are those who were formerly Jehovah's Witnesses, and those admitted from certain other sects which deny the infusion of grace attendant to the sacrament. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sections 1213-1284, for further explanation.

Summerdaze, praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Your third paragrph is simply false. It shoudl be igored.

The Roman Catholic Church does not recognize Mormon baptisms because it does not consider Mormons to be Christians. There are any number of reasons, but the major problem is the Mormorn denial of the doctrine of the Trinity.

If you don't believe in it, you cannot baptize in the name of it.

zerinus said...

You said:

"Your third paragrph is simply false. It shoudl be igored."

It is correct. RCC #1256 Says: "The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and priest and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon. In case of necessity, anyone, even a non-baptized person, with the required intention, can baptize.

You said:

"The Roman Catholic Church does not recognize Mormon baptisms because it does not consider Mormons to be Christians. There are any number of reasons, but the major problem is the Mormorn denial of the doctrine of the Trinity."

Not true. Mormonism accepts the Trinity.

You said:

"If you don't believe in it, you cannot baptize in the name of it."

We believe in the Trinity, and we baptize in the name of the Father, son, and Holy Ghost.

Agellius said...

Here is my explanation or defense of the decision, for what it's worth. Since it's too long to post as a comment, I hope you don't mind me providing a link:

http://agellius.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/a-response-to-maximus-nothus-decretum-by-alonzo-gaskill/