What does the Catholic Church teach about Mormonism?

The American candidate for the Republican Party, Mitt Romney is of the Mormon faith. I am just wondering…what does the Vatican teach about Mormonism, a religion that also professes belief in Jesus Christ and God? The Church recognizes Islam, does it not? Does the Church recognize Mormonism as well?

It recognizes Mormonism as a heretic religion.

It does not. “Heresy” has a specific meaning in the Church. It is the “obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same.” (CCC #2089)

The Mormons are more aptly described as apostates: “apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith”. The Church has ruled that Mormon baptism is not the Christian sacrament that we accept for membership in the True Church of Christ. By Catholic standards, Mormonism is not a Christian faith.

Mormonism is not a Christian religion. And here is the document from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, signed by then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to prove it:


In this document the baptism of Mormons is rejected as invalid. The Catholic Church recognizes baptisms from all Christian churches. If you’ve been baptized in a Christian church, then you don’t have to be baptized again. So, Mormonism is not Christian, because their baptisms are not valid, and they don’t make you a Christian.

Their baptisms are invalid, because they worship a different God. They do not worship the Triune God. If you don’t believe in the Trinity, then you don’t worship the Triune God.

If a Mormon went through RCIA, they’d have to be baptized. That’s not true of any Protestant or Orthodox Church (to my knowledge).

Some Protestants baptize “In the name of Jesus” alone, or “In the name of the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctifier”; each Protestant ecclesial community is evaluated on its own merits and whether they use water and the Trinitarian formula together.

9 Protestants converted in my RCIA class last Easter. None of them had to be baptized.

Yeah… I’m sure you could find some in the 33,000 Protestant churches out there. But, those are the exception to the rule, and are few and far between. For instance… you didn’t even name a Church that did that. Their name probably doesn’t have a high name recognition anyways.

I can tell you for certain that the Episcopalians have used the latter formula. Is that a high name recognition for you? The document I linked rejects this formula as incorrect, and cites other weird stuff like “Mother, Lover, Friend” :eek:

The First Ecumenical Council has defined that the belief that Jesus is a created being at any point in history, whether created before creation, during creation, created at the Annunciation, etc., as long as the belief is that he is not co-eternal with the Father, anyone who believes that is anathemized. To be anathemized is to be a heretic.

Also, given that they use the Bible as their standard of teaching (of course with the addition of the Book of Mormon), then they cannot be fully regarded as having been “ignorant of the Christian faith”. Unlike the Muslims who use a totally different book.

I wonder why we never take “intent” into consideration. Some do baptize with the valid formula, but baptism to them is a whole different thing than what baptism is to Catholics. Some see baptism as just a symbol of commitment to the faith. That is why they wait until adulthood to baptize.

I believe Oneness Pentecostals, who differ from Trinitarian Pentecostals, are fairly well known.

I do not know the church’s stance on mormonism. However i do know mine personelly i have no problem with the mormon church actually i believe they are christians they follow Jesus. The way i see it is they are christian they may have more abstact beliefs such as there book of mormon and there beilef in God in 3 separte persons instead of 3 in 1 like the trinity and so on and so forth but they are still christians and romneys religion will not effect whether i like him or not i like romeney and i have absolutely no problem with the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. i like the mormons but i love the catholic church and her beliefs. i am a proud catholic.i am a proud son of the church.

Well I believe it. I recently watched a video, during the “Peace be with you” part of the Mass, of a Lutheran Minister and an Episcopalian Minister DANCING with each other. [The Lutheran was a female].

So, if the Episcopalians are subject to heresies like this… what is the Catholic Church supposed to do. If an RCIA leader asks if the people there have been baptized, and one of them is Episcopalian who says they’ve been baptized in their Church. What are they supposed to do?

Are they supposed to say, “well I don’t know for sure if your baptism might’ve had a liberal heresy in it, so we’re going to have to baptize you for good measure?”.

Because short of that, the Catholic Church accepts Anglican/ Episcopal baptisms as valid.

Anyways, let’s pray that we won’t have to worry about this much longer. The Anglican Ordinariate is growing by leaps and bounds, and even now is much more vibrant than a lot of Episcopal parishes are.

Yes Oneness Pentecostals baptize only in the name of Jesus, it is said that Elvis Presley was baptized in the Oneness Pentecostal church.

I am not sure what you mean when you say the Church recognizes Islam. Though the Church recognizes that there are a few gold nuggets of truth in the teachings of Islam, borrowed from Natural Law, Judaism or Christianity, such as there being only one true God, on the whole the religion of Islam is not of divine origin but rather of human origin or worse, of demonic origin. The Koran was not inspired by God nor is it entirely true. Islam’s founder, Mohammed, was not a true prophet.

Similarly, though the Church recognizes that there are a few gold nuggets of truth in the teachings of Mormonism, borrowed from Natural Law, Judaism or Christianity, on the whole the religion of Mormonism is not of divine origin but rather of human origin or worse, of demonic origin. The Book of Mormon and other Mormon writings were not inspired by God nor are they entirely true. Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith, was not a true prophet.

Ecumenical Councils and things such as Canon Law are only binding on Catholics and Orthodox whose Churches accept them. The canons of the First Ecumenical Council have no juridicial effect on unbaptized persons. You have not provided any documentation contradicting my definition of heresy which is given in the Catechism.

Also, given that they use the Bible as their standard of teaching (of course with the addition of the Book of Mormon), then they cannot be fully regarded as having been “ignorant of the Christian faith”. Unlike the Muslims who use a totally different book.

Nobody said anywhere in this thread that Mormons are ignorant of the Christian faith. What I have said is that they repudiate it totally by holding to a non-Trinitarian theology, one that is almost pantheistic and teaches that men in this world become actual gods to rule their own planets with celestial wives. Mormonism teaches false history and puts Jesus Christ in places and situations where he did not go. Jews also use the Old Testament, that does not make them Christian. Jehovah’s Witnesses use the New Testament, yet they are also not Christian, by Catholic standards.

Actually, as the Lay Director of RCIA for our parish, I can tell you that each and every protestant baptism is reviewed (in our parish).

Yes, I have told people that their baptism is not considered valid, and they would have to be baptized at the Easter Vigil.

We require a baptismal certificate, and if one cannot be produced, we do as much research as possible, including contacting the individual church.

All of this is done with as few people being involved as possible. Usually, me, the inquirer, and maybe a member of the clergy. This isn’t something that is brought up, and pointed out in a classroom setting.

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