NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter beheaded in Pakistan allegedly by September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was baptized posthumously by the Mormon Church, the Boston Globe reported.
Before he was murdered, Pearl was forced to make a video by his terrorist kidnappers. In the video he explained his Jewish heritage. The same video later showed Pearl’s body being butchered.
Pearl, 38, was kidnapped and killed while in Pakistan shortly after the 9/11 attacks.
Mormon officials called the baptism a “serious breach of protocol” because it was not performed by a relative, according to the report.
“In a few instances, names have been submitted in violation of policy,” church spokesman Michael Purdy told the Globe. “It is distressing when an individual willfully violates the Church’s policy and something that should be understood to be an offering based on love and respect becomes a source of contention.”
Mormons baptize dead members of other faiths in an effort to “give them access to salvation,” the Boston Globe reported.
Pearl’s parents reportedly called the baptism “disturbing news.”
“He lived as a proud Jew, died as a proud Jew and is currently facing his creator as a Jew, blessed, accepted and redeemed. For the record, let it be clear: Danny did no choose to be baptized, nor did his family consent to this un-called-for ritual,” his parents Judea and Ruth told the paper.
“It’s a lack of respect for Danny and a lack of respect for his parents,” Pearl’s widow Mariane told the Globe.
Reaction in our area was swift – and overwhelmingly negative – on CBSNewYork’s Facebook page.
“I find it completely out of line!” wrote Heather Muir of Lindenhurst, New Jersey.
Sydelle Houston wrote she found it “pointless and unnerving.”
“It means nothing if the person getting baptized had no say in it and is not the one asking God to forgive his or her sins,” wrote Jal Francis. “I don’t think it holds any value at all.”
What do you make of the practice of posthumous baptism? Sound off in our comments section below.